Traders sold shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading on Tuesday. $61.60 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $83.46 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $21.86 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Merck & Co. had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co. traded up $0.03 for the day and closed at $63.58

Several brokerages have recently commented on MRK. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 price target (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. Citigroup Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Piper Jaffray Cos. restated a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price objective on Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €62.78 ($71.34).

The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $60.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $55.87. The firm has a market capitalization of $175.81 billion and a PE ratio of 34.88.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.86 earnings per share. Merck & Co.’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.89%.

In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 30,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €57.49 ($65.33), for a total transaction of €1,724,700.00 ($1,959,886.36). Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 162,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €9,322,060.99 ($10,593,251.13). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of €63.03 ($71.63), for a total transaction of €189,090.00 ($214,875.00). The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Synovus Financial Corp increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 358,766 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,944,000 after buying an additional 7,556 shares in the last quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 53.6% in the fourth quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP now owns 328,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,352,000 after buying an additional 114,645 shares in the last quarter. Sfmg LLC increased its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Usca Ria LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Usca Ria LLC now owns 86,339 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,560,000 after buying an additional 5,309 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FTB Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 52,731 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,785,000 after buying an additional 1,282 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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