Investors sold shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading on Wednesday. $59.05 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $156.60 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $97.55 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Merck & Co., Inc. had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co., Inc. traded up $0.05 for the day and closed at $54.69

MRK has been the subject of a number of research reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. ValuEngine raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Bank of America began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 target price for the company. Deutsche Bank decreased their price target on 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, TheStreet cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Monday, November 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.41.

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The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The company has a market capitalization of $147,454.63, a PE ratio of 13.74, a PEG ratio of 2.31 and a beta of 0.81.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The firm had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.89 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.55%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 206.45%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Chemical Bank boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.1% during the fourth quarter. Chemical Bank now owns 97,311 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,476,000 after purchasing an additional 1,963 shares in the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.0% during the fourth quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 128,055 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,273,000 after purchasing an additional 18,573 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% during the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 255,710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,389,000 after purchasing an additional 24,487 shares in the last quarter. Certified Advisory Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter valued at about $184,000. Finally, Wagner Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter valued at about $835,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.60% 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.

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