Investors Buy Shares of Merck & Co. (MRK) on Weakness
Investors purchased shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) on weakness during trading on Monday. $128.01 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $85.19 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $42.82 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Merck & Co. had the 5th highest net in-flow for the day. Merck & Co. traded down ($0.61) for the day and closed at $59.02
A number of research firms have weighed in on MRK. BMO Capital Markets cut shares of Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Leerink Swann reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Jefferies Group boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Vetr upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €60.22 ($66.91).
The company’s 50-day moving average is $57.42 and its 200 day moving average is $54.05. The company has a market capitalization of $163.37 billion and a PE ratio of 36.19.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 5th. The company reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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. Merck & Co.’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.85 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared 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 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 13th.
In other news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 39,877 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of €54.79 ($60.88), for a total transaction of €2,184,860.83 ($2,427,623.14). Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 17,083 shares in the company, valued at €935,977.57 ($1,039,975.08). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €57.49 ($63.88), for a total value of €1,724,700.00 ($1,916,333.33). Following the sale, the insider now owns 162,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €9,322,060.99 ($10,357,845.54). The disclosure for this sale can be found here.
A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have made changes to their positions in MRK. Sippican Capital Advisors raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Sippican Capital Advisors now owns 19,294 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,019,000 after buying an additional 175 shares in the last quarter. Sawtooth Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 304.6% in the fourth quarter. Sawtooth Asset Management Inc. now owns 19,920 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,052,000 after buying an additional 14,997 shares in the last quarter. Curbstone Financial Management raised its position in shares of 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. Fort Pitt Capital Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth $1,071,000. Finally, Northeast Investment Management raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Northeast Investment Management now owns 21,542 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,138,000 after buying an additional 476 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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