Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-two research firms that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have assigned a hold recommendation and twelve have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $70.13.

MRK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. BidaskClub raised Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 target price on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 target price on Merck & and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH lifted its holdings in Merck & by 133.4% during the first quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 144,247 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,165,000 after buying an additional 82,454 shares during the period. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH lifted its holdings in Merck & by 41.9% during the second quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 296,294 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,028,000 after buying an additional 87,443 shares during the period. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & by 5.4% during the first quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 446,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,368,000 after buying an additional 22,958 shares during the period. Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in Merck & during the first quarter worth $15,126,000. Finally, Bridges Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & by 18.0% during the second quarter. Bridges Investment Management Inc. now owns 46,436 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,976,000 after buying an additional 7,070 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.91% of the company’s stock.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: This piece was published by Daily Political and is the sole property of of Daily Political. If you are viewing this piece on another domain, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of United States & international copyright law. The legal version of this piece can be accessed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2017/09/23/merck-company-inc-mrk-receives-consensus-rating-of-hold-from-brokerages.html.

Shares of Merck & (MRK) traded down 0.72% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $65.13. The stock had a trading volume of 7,465,921 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average is $63.52 and its 200 day moving average is $63.68. The company has a market cap of $177.63 billion, a PE ratio of 35.26 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.11%.

About Merck &

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Company Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Company Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.