Equities Analysts Issue Forecasts for Merck & Company, Inc.’s Q2 2017 Earnings (MRK)
Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) – Equities research analysts at Jefferies Group issued their Q2 2017 earnings estimates for shares of Merck & Company in a report released on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst J. Holford forecasts that the company will post earnings of $0.86 per share for the quarter. Jefferies Group currently has a “Sell” rating and a $51.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Merck & Company’s FY2018 earnings at $4.14 EPS.
Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Company from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Vetr downgraded Merck & Company from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.99 price target on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & Company in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price target on Merck & Company and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Merck & Company in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $69.22.
Shares of Merck & Company (NYSE MRK) opened at 62.89 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $64.44 and its 200-day moving average price is $63.36. The company has a market cap of $172.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 40.08 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Company has a 12 month low of $57.18 and a 12 month high of $66.80. Merck & Company also saw unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors acquired 17,312 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 185% compared to the average volume of 6,067 call options.
Merck & Company (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.05. Merck & Company had a return on equity of 24.99% and a net margin of 15.32%. The company had revenue of $9.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.89 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.99%. Merck & Company’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 85.84%.
In other Merck & Company news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total transaction of $317,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,317 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $909,702.18. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.05% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. TCW Group Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Company by 23.8% in the fourth quarter. TCW Group Inc. now owns 2,840,265 shares of the company’s stock worth $167,206,000 after buying an additional 545,411 shares during the last quarter. United Bank bought a new stake in Merck & Company during the fourth quarter worth $260,000. Van Strum & Towne Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Company by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Van Strum & Towne Inc. now owns 9,198 shares of the company’s stock worth $541,000 after buying an additional 148 shares during the last quarter. Aspiriant LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Company by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Aspiriant LLC now owns 23,180 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,365,000 after buying an additional 549 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Glenview Trust Co bought a new stake in Merck & Company during the fourth quarter worth $3,258,000. 73.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
About Merck & Company
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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