Merck & Co. (MRK) Upgraded by Goldman Sachs to Buy

Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report released on Monday morning, Marketbeat reports. The brokerage currently has $58.83 price objective on the stock, down from their previous price objective of $60.15.

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on MRK. Jefferies Group set a $56.00 price objective on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, April 13th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, April 16th. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & Co. from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $66.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. Cowen reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Friday. Finally, Bank of America upped their price objective on Merck & Co. from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co. presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $65.82.

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Merck & Co. stock opened at $60.25 on Monday. Merck & Co. has a twelve month low of $52.83 and a twelve month high of $66.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 1.33. The firm has a market cap of $158,616.86, a PE ratio of 14.78, a P/E/G ratio of 2.44 and a beta of 0.77.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.89 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post 4.17 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 24,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $1,392,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Chemical Bank increased its holdings in Merck & Co. by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Chemical Bank now owns 97,311 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,476,000 after buying an additional 1,963 shares in the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 17.0% during the 4th quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 128,055 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,273,000 after purchasing an additional 18,573 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 10.6% during the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 255,710 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,389,000 after purchasing an additional 24,487 shares in the last quarter. Certified Advisory Corp purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter worth approximately $184,000. Finally, Wagner Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter worth approximately $835,000. 74.62% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Merck & Co. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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