News stories about Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) have been trending somewhat positive this week, Accern Sentiment reports. The research firm identifies negative and positive news coverage by analyzing more than 20 million news and blog sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Merck & Co., Inc. earned a media sentiment score of 0.08 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news stories about the company an impact score of 47.2504126579678 out of 100, indicating that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

Here are some of the news articles that may have effected Accern’s rankings:

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) traded up $0.23 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $56.24. 21,240,948 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,642,164. The firm has a market cap of $153,222.34, a P/E ratio of 14.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.90 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $53.63 and a 1-year high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 27.08%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.07 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.41%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 114.97%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of research firms have issued reports on MRK. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. TheStreet downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 target price on the stock. Deutsche Bank cut their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $62.00 to $59.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.29.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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