Morgan Stanley Increases Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Price Target to $92.00

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) had its target price hoisted by Morgan Stanley from $88.00 to $92.00 in a research report report published on Friday morning, Marketbeat reports. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the stock.

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $97.00 to $101.00 and gave the stock a maintains rating in a report on Friday. Daiwa Capital Markets raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $89.00 to $102.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. SVB Leerink reaffirmed a maintains rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday. StockNews.com assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a strong-buy rating for the company. Finally, Cowen boosted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of Moderate Buy and a consensus target price of $97.67.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $88.53 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $70.89 and a twelve month high of $95.72. The company has a quick ratio of 1.14, a current ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75. The company has a market capitalization of $223.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.56, a PEG ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 0.32. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $90.76 and its 200 day moving average is $85.27.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.69 by $0.18. The firm had revenue of $14.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.85 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 50.02% and a net margin of 29.00%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.31 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.69 per share. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.12%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.27%.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Merck & Co., Inc.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Lindbrook Capital LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.6% during the second quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 17,436 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,590,000 after purchasing an additional 1,377 shares in the last quarter. Peddock Capital Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.6% during the second quarter. Peddock Capital Advisors LLC now owns 12,508 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,140,000 after buying an additional 199 shares during the last quarter. Sage Mountain Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.2% during the second quarter. Sage Mountain Advisors LLC now owns 7,956 shares of the company’s stock valued at $725,000 after buying an additional 246 shares during the last quarter. Transatlantique Private Wealth LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,893,000. Finally, Horst & Graben Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at approximately $220,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.88% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

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

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