Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Lifted to Overweight at Atlantic Securities

Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, 24/7 WallStreet reports. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $93.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, March 29th. UBS Group boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $87.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Bank of America boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $91.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $82.92.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $79.13 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $209.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.23, a PEG ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.58. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $57.49 and a 52-week high of $83.85. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. The business had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.45 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 39.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.05 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Robert M. Davis sold 192,572 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.38, for a total transaction of $15,864,081.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 330,232 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,204,512.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Kenneth C. Frazier sold 53,961 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.02, for a total value of $4,317,959.22. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 733,942 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $58,730,038.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 673,712 shares of company stock valued at $54,776,448. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. C J Advisory Inc bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth approximately $32,000. WP Advisors LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth approximately $36,000. Brand Asset Management Group Inc. bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth approximately $37,000. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth approximately $38,000. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth approximately $41,000. Institutional investors own 73.85% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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

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