Traders Buy Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) on Weakness

Traders bought shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on weakness during trading on Tuesday. $80.82 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $47.48 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $33.34 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Merck & Co., Inc. had the 18th highest net in-flow for the day. Merck & Co., Inc. traded down ($0.02) for the day and closed at $56.34

MRK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $75.00 to $74.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 30th. Bank of America initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price objective on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Jefferies Group cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16. The company has a market capitalization of $153,549.27, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.91 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.41%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 114.97%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.25% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Perennial Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the 2nd quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after purchasing an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. Stelac Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $104,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after purchasing an additional 232 shares during the last quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 728.3% during the 3rd quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 13,014 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Solaris Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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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