BMO Capital Markets Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK)

BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in a research note released on Friday. BMO Capital Markets currently has a $72.00 price target on the stock.

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on MRK. BidaskClub raised shares of Merck & from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $73.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a sell rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $70.00.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) opened at 65.13 on Friday. Merck & has a 1-year low of $58.29 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The stock has a market cap of $177.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.26 and a beta of 0.81. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $62.98 and its 200-day moving average is $63.69.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & will post $3.87 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is 76.11%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 5.4% in the first quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 446,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,368,000 after buying an additional 22,958 shares during the last quarter. First PREMIER Bank lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 2.7% in the first quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 21,475 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,364,000 after buying an additional 570 shares during the last quarter. Agran Libbie lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 83.0% in the first quarter. Agran Libbie now owns 11,918 shares of the company’s stock worth $757,000 after buying an additional 5,404 shares during the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & in the first quarter worth $15,126,000. Finally, Sfmg LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 4.9% in the first quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 21,582 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,371,000 after buying an additional 1,011 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.02% of the company’s stock.

About Merck &

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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