Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was the recipient of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 19,860,000 shares, a decrease of 7.4% from the September 30th total of 21,440,000 shares. Currently, 0.8% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 8,190,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.4 days.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded up $0.05 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $84.18. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,860,728 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,152,435. The stock has a market capitalization of $216.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.40, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.54. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $84.06 and its 200 day simple moving average is $83.17. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $70.89 and a fifty-two week high of $87.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a current ratio of 1.26.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. The company had revenue of $12.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.16% and a net margin of 20.26%. The firm’s revenue was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.19 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 EPS for the current year.

MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Svb Leerink initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, August 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. Barclays reissued a “sell” rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 12th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $96.24.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Titan Capital Management LLC CA bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth about $25,000. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% in the 2nd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after buying an additional 225 shares during the last quarter. JJJ Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $27,000. Cumberland Partners Ltd acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $40,000. Finally, Fusion Family Wealth LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 268.2% in the 2nd quarter. Fusion Family Wealth LLC now owns 486 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,000 after buying an additional 354 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.84% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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