Bank of America set a $97.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in a research note published on Thursday morning, Stock Target Advisor reports. The brokerage currently has a buy rating on the stock.

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Tableau Software to $134.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and set a $45.00 target price on shares of SAP in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald boosted their target price on shares of Accenture from $185.00 to $199.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $27.00 target price on shares of Melco Resorts & Entertainment and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 28th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Yirendai from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $87.67.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $2.36 during trading on Thursday, reaching $78.64. 819,048 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,772,176. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $62.01 and a 1-year high of $87.07. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $83.02. The company has a market cap of $218.38 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.14, a PEG ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.57.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 19.50% and a return on equity of 39.85%. The company had revenue of $10.82 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.05 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 17th were issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 14th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.80%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 50.69%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.73, for a total transaction of $1,943,250.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 92,604 shares in the company, valued at $7,198,108.92. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 276,718 shares of company stock worth $23,257,469. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.6% in the second quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 518,205 shares of the company’s stock valued at $43,451,000 after purchasing an additional 32,078 shares during the last quarter. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL now owns 369,366 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,971,000 after purchasing an additional 1,433 shares during the last quarter. Colorado Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.2% in the second quarter. Colorado Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,457 shares of the company’s stock valued at $374,000 after purchasing an additional 717 shares during the last quarter. Gantzert Investment Co. LLC ADV raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% in the second quarter. Gantzert Investment Co. LLC ADV now owns 31,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,633,000 after purchasing an additional 390 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Command Bank raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.6% in the second quarter. First Command Bank now owns 8,481 shares of the company’s stock valued at $711,000 after purchasing an additional 135 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.08% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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Analyst Recommendations for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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