Investors purchased shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday. $188.00 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $102.00 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $86.00 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Merck & had the 6th highest net in-flow for the day. Merck & traded down ($0.68) for the day and closed at $63.78

Several research analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. UBS AG increased their target price on shares of Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 29th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.13.

The stock has a market capitalization of $174.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.56 and a beta of 0.80. The company’s 50 day moving average is $64.51 and its 200 day moving average is $63.70.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. Merck &’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. Analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th were paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is 76.11%.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services boosted its stake in Merck & by 7.1% in the 3rd quarter. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services now owns 79,350 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,081,000 after purchasing an additional 5,275 shares in the last quarter. Park National Corp OH boosted its stake in Merck & by 3.9% in the 3rd quarter. Park National Corp OH now owns 422,012 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,022,000 after purchasing an additional 15,898 shares in the last quarter. Cacti Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & by 5.1% in the 3rd quarter. Cacti Asset Management LLC now owns 738,840 shares of the company’s stock worth $47,308,000 after purchasing an additional 35,997 shares in the last quarter. Perpetual Ltd boosted its stake in Merck & by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. Perpetual Ltd now owns 195,627 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,538,000 after purchasing an additional 6,650 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bogart Wealth LLC boosted its stake in Merck & by 42.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bogart Wealth LLC now owns 23,389 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,499,000 after purchasing an additional 6,998 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.91% of the company’s stock.

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Merck & 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. 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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