Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Upgraded by StockNews.com to “Strong-Buy”

StockNews.com upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Friday.

A number of other research analysts have also commented on the company. Truist Financial increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $122.00 to $139.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday. UBS Group raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $135.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an overweight rating and issued a $135.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Wells Fargo & Company raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Friday. Finally, TheStreet raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Monday, November 27th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of Moderate Buy and an average target price of $129.68.

Check Out Our Latest Research Report on MRK

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $126.41 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 1.12 and a current ratio of 1.38. The firm has a market cap of $320.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 902.93, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.38. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $112.10 and its 200-day simple moving average is $107.85. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $99.14 and a 52 week high of $127.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by $0.12. The business had revenue of $14.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.49 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 9.07% and a net margin of 0.61%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.62 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.77 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $3.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.44%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 2,200.00%.

Insider Buying and Selling

In related news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total transaction of $6,420,395.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 23,619 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,991,346.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total value of $6,420,395.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 23,619 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,991,346.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 43,823 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.03, for a total value of $4,602,729.69. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 111,764 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,738,572.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 96,598 shares of company stock worth $11,236,178 in the last 90 days. 0.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Merck & Co., Inc.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 103,159.7% in the 4th quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 39,327,490 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,363,385,000 after buying an additional 39,289,404 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $2,736,293,000. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $740,061,000. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.7% in the 3rd quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 82,442,666 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,487,472,000 after buying an additional 5,196,914 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2,671.4% in the 1st quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,099,334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $418,400,000 after buying an additional 4,915,334 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.59% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

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

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