Investors bought shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) on weakness during trading on Monday. $115.28 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $64.70 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $50.58 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Merck & Co. had the 3rd highest net in-flow for the day. Merck & Co. traded down ($0.01) for the day and closed at $59.34

MRK has been the subject of several research reports. Jefferies Group raised their target price on Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 15th. Vetr raised Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.09 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, March 15th. TheStreet raised Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 16th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $57.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, March 23rd. Finally, Leerink Swann reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Tuesday, April 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €60.22 ($66.17).

The company has a market capitalization of $164.25 billion and a P/E ratio of 36.38. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $56.90 and a 200-day moving average of $53.82.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 5th. The company reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.04. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.85 EPS. The firm earned $9.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.45 billion. The company’s revenue was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 8th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.10%.

In related news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 50,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €57.69 ($63.40), for a total transaction of €2,884,500.00 ($3,169,780.22). Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €2,884,500 ($3,169,780.22). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 39,877 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of €54.79 ($60.21), for a total value of €2,184,860.83 ($2,400,945.97). Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 17,083 shares in the company, valued at approximately €935,977.57 ($1,028,546.78). The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Ashburton Jersey Ltd bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter valued at about $15,244,000. Argent Trust Co boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 7.2% in the third quarter. Argent Trust Co now owns 30,363 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,499,000 after buying an additional 2,037 shares during the last quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.6% in the third quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. now owns 28,184 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,392,000 after buying an additional 174 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 5.9% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,925,653 shares of the company’s stock valued at $313,010,000 after buying an additional 330,152 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Opus Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Opus Investment Management Inc. now owns 65,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,433,000 after buying an additional 5,000 shares during the last quarter.

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. 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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