Traders Sell Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on Strength (NYSE:MRK)

Investors sold shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading hours on Tuesday. $46.55 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $98.56 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $52.01 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Merck & had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & traded up $0.04 for the day and closed at $63.92

MRK has been the topic of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 10th. Vetr lowered shares of Merck & from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.99 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.58.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $62.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.83. The firm has a market cap of $167.71 billion, a PE ratio of 33.29 and a beta of 0.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.93 EPS. The company’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.06%. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 76.11%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Merck & during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,628,824,000. Dodge & Cox acquired a new stake in Merck & during the fourth quarter worth approximately $821,068,000. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in 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 buying an additional 3,312,459 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in shares of Merck & by 49.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 8,991,093 shares of the company’s stock worth $571,295,000 after buying an additional 2,983,319 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership raised its position in shares of Merck & by 71.5% in the second quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 6,281,855 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,604,000 after buying an additional 2,618,435 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.46% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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