A number of research firms have changed their ratings and price targets for Merck & (NYSE: MRK):

  • 9/5/2017 – Merck & had its “outperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Credit Suisse Group. They now have a $74.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $75.00.
  • 9/1/2017 – Merck & had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Cowen and Company. They now have a $70.00 price target on the stock.
  • 8/30/2017 – Merck & had its price target lowered by analysts at Credit Suisse Group from $75.00 to $74.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 8/20/2017 – Merck & had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Jefferies Group LLC. They now have a $52.00 price target on the stock.
  • 8/9/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 8/9/2017 – Merck & was upgraded by analysts at HSBC Holdings plc from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 8/2/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Merck’s beat estimates for both earnings and sales in Q2 mainly backed by strong sales of PD-1 inhibitor, Keytruda. Merck has made significant progress with its pipeline and is working on bringing new products to the market. New products like Keytruda and Zepatier should continue to contribute meaningfully to the top line. Keytruda is gaining strong momentum from new indication of first-line lung cancer. The Keytruda development program also significantly advanced in the first half with several key regulatory approvals. Further Keytruda data readouts are pending in 2H.  Meanwhile, Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. Merck’s shares surpassed the large-cap pharma industry in the past one year. However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competition in the immuno-oncology market is also a significant concern.”
  • 8/1/2017 – Merck & was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 7/31/2017 – Merck & had its price target raised by analysts at UBS AG from $70.00 to $72.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 7/29/2017 – Merck & was given a new $70.00 price target on by analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 7/27/2017 – Merck & had its “neutral” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The). They now have a $74.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $70.00.
  • 7/24/2017 – Merck & had its “outperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at BMO Capital Markets. They now have a $73.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $74.00.
  • 7/19/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating.
  • 7/17/2017 – Merck & had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG. They now have a $66.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $64.00.
  • 7/11/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) opened at 64.00 on Thursday. Merck & Company, Inc. has a one year low of $58.29 and a one year high of $66.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $174.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.65 and a beta of 0.81. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $62.89 and its 200-day moving average is $63.72.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.88 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is currently 76.11%.

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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