Jefferies Group LLC downgraded shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) from a hold rating to an underperform rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday. 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. UBS AG cut their price target on shares of Merck & from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Monday. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Sunday. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday. HSBC Holdings plc upgraded shares of Merck & from a reduce rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Barclays PLC downgraded shares of Merck & from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $72.00 to $62.00 in a report on Monday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $67.07.

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. Merck & had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 26.82%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis.

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Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in shares of Merck & in the second quarter worth approximately $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Merck & by 10.7% in the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & by 15.5% in the second quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 232 shares in the last quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & by 16.7% in the first quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & by 6.3% in the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other 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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