Jefferies Group reissued their hold rating on shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) in a research report released on Sunday. The brokerage currently has a $65.00 price target on the stock.

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on MRK. Vetr lowered Merck & Co. from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $64.84 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, October 10th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $62.00 price target (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Credit Suisse Group AG raised Merck & Co. from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research note on Sunday, August 7th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price target on Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of €65.58 ($72.87).

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.14 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $171.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $62.56 and a 200 day moving average price of $58.70. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $64.86.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The business’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.86 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 101.10%.

In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total value of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the sale, the insider now owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Middleton & Co Inc MA boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 3.0% in the first quarter. Middleton & Co Inc MA now owns 185,147 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,796,000 after buying an additional 5,465 shares in the last quarter. Hyman Charles D purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth $905,000. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 2.2% in the first quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 29,619 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,567,000 after buying an additional 630 shares in the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 7.3% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 84,687 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,481,000 after buying an additional 5,798 shares in the last quarter. Finally, B & T Capital Management DBA Alpha Capital Management purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth $2,290,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.93% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MRK

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