Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) have received an average recommendation of “Buy” from the seventeen analysts that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month target price among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $82.92.
A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. ValuEngine raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $80.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, January 23rd. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, March 4th. Finally, Argus raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th.
Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $0.13 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $80.85. The stock had a trading volume of 517,665 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,524,454. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $58.03 and a 1-year high of $83.85. The firm has a market cap of $218.34 billion, a PE ratio of 18.60, a P/E/G ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 1.37.
In related news, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. purchased 4,121,683 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $16.00 per share, for a total transaction of $65,946,928.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.73, for a total value of $1,943,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 92,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,198,108.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 538,099 shares of company stock valued at $43,923,339. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MRK. UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.8% during the 4th quarter. UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp now owns 15,030 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,148,000 after purchasing an additional 961 shares during the last quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 60,665 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,635,000 after purchasing an additional 2,533 shares during the last quarter. Cavalier Investments LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,195,000. First Personal Financial Services lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 118.2% during the 4th quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 9,182 shares of the company’s stock worth $702,000 after purchasing an additional 4,974 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PointState Capital LP acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $8,513,000. Institutional investors own 72.57% 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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