Traders bought shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) on weakness during trading hours on Friday. $182.01 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $47.82 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $134.19 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Merck & Co. had the 11th highest net in-flow for the day. Merck & Co. traded down ($0.02) for the day and closed at $59.63

Several research analysts have commented on the company. Societe Generale assumed coverage on Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, April 6th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Vetr upgraded Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.12 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, April 4th. Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, June 9th. Jefferies Group reduced their price objective on Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated a “hold” rating and set a $57.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, March 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €60.22 ($66.17).

The company has a 50 day moving average price of $57.34 and a 200 day moving average price of $53.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $165.06 billion and a P/E ratio of 36.56.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 8th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were given 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 was Monday, June 13th.

In other news, CEO Kenneth C. Frazier sold 60,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €58.00 ($63.74), for a total transaction of €3,480,000.00 ($3,824,175.82). Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 554,856 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €32,181,648 ($35,364,448.35). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €57.69 ($63.40), for a total value of €2,884,500.00 ($3,169,780.22). Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately €2,884,500 ($3,169,780.22). The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds recently bought and sold shares of the company. Park National raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Park National now owns 399,471 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,100,000 after buying an additional 3,862 shares in the last quarter. Curbstone Financial Management raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 91.4% in the fourth quarter. Curbstone Financial Management now owns 20,058 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,059,000 after buying an additional 9,579 shares in the last quarter. Trust Company of Virginia raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Trust Company of Virginia now owns 61,306 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,238,000 after buying an additional 2,146 shares in the last quarter. Torch Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Torch Wealth Management LLC now owns 27,798 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,468,000 after buying an additional 106 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 10.6% in the fourth quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. now owns 23,487 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,241,000 after buying an additional 2,257 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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