Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) was upgraded by Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $66.07 price target on the stock.

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on MRK. BMO Capital Markets cut Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group AG raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research note on Sunday, August 7th. Jefferies Group boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 target price (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of €66.71 ($71.73).

Analyst Recommendations for Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK)

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.63 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $172.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.99 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $47.97 and a 52-week high of $65.46. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $61.75 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.69.

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

In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($66.74), for a total transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,723,070.97). Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,607,907.65). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.61 ($67.32), for a total transaction of €2,454,312.00 ($2,639,045.16). Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares in the company, valued at €2,454,312 ($2,639,045.16). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. 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 valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the period. 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 valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 210 shares during the period. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the third quarter. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC now owns 1,711 shares of the company’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. 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 valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, 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 valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. 73.24% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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