UBS Group Raises Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Price Target to $148.00

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) had its price objective increased by UBS Group from $135.00 to $148.00 in a report issued on Friday morning, Benzinga reports. They currently have a buy rating on the stock.

MRK has been the topic of several other research reports. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $125.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Friday. StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. They set a buy rating on the stock. Truist Financial reissued a buy rating and issued a $122.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an overweight rating and issued a $135.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, TD Cowen raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and boosted their price target for the company from $125.00 to $135.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of Moderate Buy and an average target price of $129.68.

Read Our Latest Research Report on Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $126.41 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $320.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 902.93, a PEG ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.38. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $99.14 and a 12 month high of $127.56. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $112.10 and its 200 day moving average is $107.85. The company has a current ratio of 1.38, a quick ratio of 1.12 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

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

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

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

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total transaction of $6,420,395.10. Following the completion of the sale, 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 document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The shares were 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 $2,991,346.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Johannes Jacobus Oosthuizen sold 2,081 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $102.38, for a total transaction of $213,052.78. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 18,191 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,862,394.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 96,598 shares of company stock valued at $11,236,178 in the last ninety days. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional Trading of Merck & Co., Inc.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MRK. State Street Corp increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 118,562,086 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,766,428,000 after acquiring an additional 2,174,829 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.7% during 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 acquiring an additional 5,196,914 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 52,723,457 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,068,750,000 after acquiring an additional 1,504,701 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 41,850,081 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,643,267,000 after acquiring an additional 4,000,816 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 103,159.7% in the fourth quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 39,327,490 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,363,385,000 after buying an additional 39,289,404 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.59% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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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