A number of firms have modified their ratings and price targets on shares of Merck & (NYSE: MRK) recently:

  • 8/9/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 8/9/2017 – Merck & was upgraded by analysts at HSBC Holdings plc from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 8/2/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Merck’s beat estimates for both earnings and sales in Q2 mainly backed by strong sales of PD-1 inhibitor, Keytruda. Merck has made significant progress with its pipeline and is working on bringing new products to the market. New products like Keytruda and Zepatier should continue to contribute meaningfully to the top line. Keytruda is gaining strong momentum from new indication of first-line lung cancer. The Keytruda development program also significantly advanced in the first half with several key regulatory approvals. Further Keytruda data readouts are pending in 2H.  Meanwhile, Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. Merck’s shares surpassed the large-cap pharma industry in the past one year. However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competition in the immuno-oncology market is also a significant concern.”
  • 8/1/2017 – Merck & was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 7/31/2017 – Merck & had its price target raised by analysts at UBS AG from $70.00 to $72.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 7/29/2017 – Merck & was given a new $70.00 price target on by analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 7/27/2017 – Merck & had its “neutral” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The). They now have a $74.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $70.00.
  • 7/24/2017 – Merck & had its “outperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at BMO Capital Markets. They now have a $73.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $74.00.
  • 7/19/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating.
  • 7/17/2017 – Merck & had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG. They now have a $66.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $64.00.
  • 7/11/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 7/5/2017 – Merck & had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by analysts at BMO Capital Markets.
  • 7/5/2017 – Merck & was given a new $65.00 price target on by analysts at Citigroup Inc.. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 6/27/2017 – Merck & had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at BMO Capital Markets. They now have a $74.00 price target on the stock.
  • 6/22/2017 – Merck & was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 6/13/2017 – Merck & had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Credit Suisse Group.
  • 6/12/2017 – Merck & was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Merck has been pursuing acquisitions and business development deals to boost its pipeline. Merck has made significant progress with its pipeline and is working on bringing new products to the market. New products like Keytruda and Zepatier should continue to contribute meaningfully to the top line.  Keytruda uptake in first line lung cancer indication and potential label expansion – with FDA action pending on multiple regulatory applications – are catalysts for the stock in 2017. Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. Merck’s shares surpassed the large-cap pharma industry in the past one year. However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competition in the immune-oncology market is also a significant concern.”

Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded up 0.63% on Friday, hitting $62.57. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,122,604 shares. The stock has a market cap of $170.65 billion, a PE ratio of 33.88 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12 month low of $58.29 and a 12 month high of $66.80. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $63.46 and a 200-day moving average of $63.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.93 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.02%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 76.11%.

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. 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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