Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Merck has made significant progress with its pipeline and is working on bringing new products to the market. New products like Keytruda and Zepatier should continue to contribute meaningfully to sales. Keytruda is gaining strong momentum from new indication of first-line lung cancer. The Keytruda development program also significantly advanced in the first half with several key regulatory approvals. Meanwhile, Merck will continue to focus on cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line. However, generic competition for several drugs and pricing pressure will continue to be overhangs on the top line. Rising competition in the immuno-oncology market is also a significant concern. Merck’s shares underperformed the industry this year so far. Estimates have declined slightly ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. Merck has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”
A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $72.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Credit Suisse Group reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 price target (down from $75.00) on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Cowen and Company reissued a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “sell” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Sunday, August 20th. Finally, HSBC Holdings plc raised shares of Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.14.
Shares of Merck & (NYSE MRK) traded down 0.418% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $63.075. 2,634,604 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $64.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $172.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.150 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & has a 12 month low of $58.29 and a 12 month high of $66.80.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. Merck &’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Perennial Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 10.7% in the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 157 shares during the period. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & in the second quarter valued at approximately $104,000. Vigilant Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 16.7% in the first quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 15.5% in the second quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 232 shares during the period. Finally, Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 6.3% in the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 115 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.86% of the company’s stock.
About Merck &
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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