Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) Rating Increased to Buy at Citigroup Inc.

Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was upgraded by Citigroup Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on MRK. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Merck & in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $66.00 price target (up previously from $64.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 price target (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Two investment 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 stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $67.07.

Merck & (MRK) opened at 55.09 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $63.71 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.55. Merck & has a 12-month low of $54.41 and a 12-month high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $150.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.83 and a beta of 0.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 26.82%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Merck & will post $3.92 EPS for the current year.

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Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Stelac Advisory Services LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & during the 2nd quarter worth $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 10.7% during the 2nd quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 15.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 232 shares during the last quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 16.7% during the 1st quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds 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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