Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 85,523 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of €60.02 ($65.96), for a total value of €5,133,090.46 ($5,640,758.75). Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 77,762 shares in the company, valued at approximately €4,667,275.24 ($5,128,873.89). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link.

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 64.96 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $61.66 and a 200-day moving average price of $59.45. The stock has a market capitalization of $179.63 billion, a PE ratio of 33.18 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $47.97 and a 52-week high of $65.46.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.07 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.99 by $0.08. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.25% and a net margin of 13.76%. The business had revenue of $10.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.96 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Solaris Asset Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 3.8% in the third quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,635 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 5.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc increased its position in Merck & Co. by 124.7% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 1,802 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Blume Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 14.0% in the third quarter. Blume Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,710 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 210 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth approximately $115,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.99% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Vetr downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, October 10th. Bank of America Corp. raised Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Thursday, October 13th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price target (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, September 12th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of €66.52 ($73.10).

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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