Brokers Issue Forecasts for Merck & Co., Inc.’s FY2018 Earnings (MRK)
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) – Investment analysts at SunTrust Banks decreased their FY2018 earnings estimates for Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. SunTrust Banks analyst J. Boris now expects that the company will post earnings per share of $4.04 for the year, down from their prior estimate of $4.07. SunTrust Banks has a “Hold” rating on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s FY2019 earnings at $4.23 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.56 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $5.00 EPS.
Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. 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 note on Sunday, October 29th. Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. UBS cut their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.07 earnings per share.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.42%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 114.97%.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 172.3% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,705,564 shares of the company’s stock valued at $429,347,000 after purchasing an additional 4,243,246 shares during the period. Capital International Investors raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 55.3% during the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 9,623,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $616,185,000 after purchasing an additional 3,428,400 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,442,709,000 after purchasing an additional 3,312,459 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 95,700.4% during the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 3,281,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $210,016,000 after buying an additional 3,277,738 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 415.5% during the 3rd quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,560,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $227,977,000 after buying an additional 2,869,844 shares in the last quarter. 73.63% of the stock is currently 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.
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