Investors bought shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) on weakness during trading on Monday. $103.09 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $62.09 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $41.00 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Merck & Co. had the 13th highest net in-flow for the day. Merck & Co. traded down ($0.26) for the day and closed at $58.56

Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Leerink Swann reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, July 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €60.22 ($66.91).

The company has a market capitalization of $162.10 billion and a P/E ratio of 35.90. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $57.71 and a 200-day moving average price of $54.26.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 8th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.14%.

In related news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 39,877 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of €54.79 ($60.88), for a total value of €2,184,860.83 ($2,427,623.14). Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 17,083 shares in the company, valued at approximately €935,977.57 ($1,039,975.08). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 30,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the sale, the insider now owns 162,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €9,322,060.99 ($10,357,845.54). The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sippican Capital Advisors increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Sippican Capital Advisors now owns 19,294 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,019,000 after buying an additional 175 shares during the last quarter. Sawtooth Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 304.6% in the fourth quarter. Sawtooth Asset Management Inc. now owns 19,920 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,052,000 after buying an additional 14,997 shares during the last quarter. Curbstone Financial Management increased 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 valued at $1,059,000 after buying an additional 9,579 shares during the last quarter. Northeast Investment Management increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Northeast Investment Management now owns 21,542 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,138,000 after buying an additional 476 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sfmg LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 21,861 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,155,000 after buying an additional 973 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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