Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) received a $68.00 price target from investment analysts at BMO Capital Markets in a research report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a “buy” rating on the stock. BMO Capital Markets’ target price indicates a potential upside of 21.41% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on MRK. Barclays downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $72.00 to $62.00 in a research report on Monday, October 30th. UBS decreased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 30th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $70.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Leerink Swann decreased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $56.01 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $155,483.63, a PE ratio of 14.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.64 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $53.63 and a 12 month high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Hanson McClain Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 65.0% during the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 7,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $491,000 after buying an additional 3,019 shares in the last quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 133.4% during the first quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 144,247 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,165,000 after buying an additional 82,454 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.6% during the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 4,206,648 shares of the company’s stock valued at $269,678,000 after buying an additional 107,201 shares in the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.9% during the second quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 296,294 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,028,000 after buying an additional 87,443 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter valued at approximately $15,126,000. 73.84% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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. 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 & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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