Investors bought shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday. $97.18 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $46.95 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $50.23 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Merck & Co. had the 7th highest net in-flow for the day. Merck & Co. traded down ($0.05) for the day and closed at $59.55

A number of research firms have commented on MRK. Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, June 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, May 19th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday. Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $51.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, April 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €60.22 ($66.17).

The firm has a market cap of $164.84 billion and a P/E ratio of 36.51. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $57.16 and its 200-day moving average is $53.90.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 5th. The company reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.04. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.85 earnings per share. The firm had revenue of $9.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.45 billion. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.72 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 8th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th.

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €57.49 ($63.18), for a total transaction of €1,724,700.00 ($1,895,274.73). Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 162,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €9,322,060.99 ($10,244,023.07). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 39,877 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of €54.79 ($60.21), for a total transaction of €2,184,860.83 ($2,400,945.97). Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 17,083 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €935,977.57 ($1,028,546.78). The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds recently modified their holdings of the stock. Ashburton Jersey Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth about $15,244,000. Argent Trust Co raised its stake 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 worth $1,499,000 after buying an additional 2,037 shares in the last quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. raised its stake 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 worth $1,392,000 after buying an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake 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 worth $313,010,000 after buying an additional 330,152 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Opus Investment Management Inc. raised its stake 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 worth $3,433,000 after buying an additional 5,000 shares in 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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