Analysts expect Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) to post $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have provided estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.11 to $1.18. Merck & Co., Inc. posted earnings of $1.11 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 3.6%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings results on Friday, October 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will report full year earnings of $4.26 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.18 to $4.29. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $4.58 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.27 to $4.78. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Merck & Co., Inc..

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share.

MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, August 16th. Bank of America lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 22nd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $67.24.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $69.04 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $186.14 billion, a PE ratio of 16.44, a PEG ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 0.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.33. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $52.83 and a 12 month high of $70.25.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $14,825,915.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 938,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $61,021,220. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 134,094 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $8,179,734.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,100,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 396,393 shares of company stock valued at $25,235,061. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 185,546,933 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,262,699,000 after acquiring an additional 831,243 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.6% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 49,101,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,674,552,000 after acquiring an additional 5,880,457 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,653,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,346,241,000 after acquiring an additional 3,242,430 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 29,116,826 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,634,999,000 after acquiring an additional 957,657 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 15,905,834 shares of the company’s stock worth $965,485,000 after acquiring an additional 149,438 shares in the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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