Jefferies Group LLC upgraded shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) from an underperform rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday, MarketBeat reports. They currently have $48.00 price objective on the stock, down from their previous price objective of $54.41. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Merck &’s FY2017 earnings at $3.97 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $4.16 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $4.16 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $4.38 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $4.74 EPS.

MRK has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Cowen and Company reissued a hold rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research note on Friday, September 1st. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $70.00 price target on Merck & and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Leerink Swann upped their price target on Merck & from $69.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, Barclays PLC lowered Merck & from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and cut their price target for the company from $72.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $67.07.

Shares of Merck & (NYSE MRK) traded up $0.71 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $56.06. The company had a trading volume of 9,810,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,580,000. The company has a current ratio of 1.50, a quick ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. The firm has a market cap of $152.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 0.78. Merck & has a twelve month low of $54.41 and a twelve month high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.82% and a net margin of 11.60%. The business’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Merck & will post 3.95 EPS for the current year.

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Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after acquiring an additional 3,312,459 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & by 1.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,856,484,000 after buying an additional 1,834,500 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & by 3.1% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,019,572 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,731,684,000 after buying an additional 801,033 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners grew its holdings in shares of Merck & by 2.6% during the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 19,935,016 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,266,671,000 after buying an additional 500,476 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in shares of Merck & by 1.3% during the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,564,388 shares of the company’s stock worth $933,445,000 after buying an additional 192,348 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.86% of the company’s stock.

Merck & 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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