Investors sold shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading on Tuesday. $89.36 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $142.73 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $53.37 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Merck & Co., Inc. had the 24th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co., Inc. traded up $0.14 for the day and closed at $56.80

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $56.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, October 30th. UBS Group dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. BMO Capital Markets restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $72.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Citigroup upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Jefferies Group lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.

The firm has a market cap of $154,910.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 55.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative net margin of 0.49% and a negative return on equity of 0.58%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.38%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Edgestream Partners L.P. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 394.5% during the first quarter. Edgestream Partners L.P. now owns 24,357 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,548,000 after acquiring an additional 19,431 shares in the last quarter. PVG Asset Management Corp bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth about $2,781,000. Saturna Capital CORP grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 39.6% in the 1st quarter. Saturna Capital CORP now owns 6,699 shares of the company’s stock worth $426,000 after purchasing an additional 1,900 shares in the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth about $127,000. Finally, Kovitz Investment Group Partners LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% in the 1st quarter. Kovitz Investment Group Partners LLC now owns 6,173 shares of the company’s stock worth $392,000 after purchasing an additional 105 shares in the last quarter. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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