Merck & Co. (MRK) to Post Q4 2016 Earnings of $0.96 Per Share, Leerink Swann Forecasts
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) – Analysts at Leerink Swann boosted their Q4 2016 earnings estimates for Merck & Co. in a research note issued to investors on Monday. Leerink Swann analyst S. Fernandez now forecasts that the firm will post earnings of $0.96 per share for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $0.95. Leerink Swann currently has a “Market Perform” rating and a $65.00 target price on the stock.
Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on MRK. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Jefferies Group upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €65.05 ($72.28).
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.51 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $172.85 billion, a PE ratio of 34.29 and a beta of 0.68. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $62.57 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.63. Merck & Co. has a 12-month low of $47.97 and a 12-month high of $64.86.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly 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 firm had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The company’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.86 EPS.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.94%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 101.10%.
In other Merck & Co. news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total transaction of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total transaction of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 5.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 124.7% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 1,802 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Americafirst Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $115,000. First New York Securities LLC NY bought a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $121,000. Finally, NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 14.2% in the second quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 2,104 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the period. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Merck & Co. Company Profile
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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