Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Rating Reiterated by Cowen and Company

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by research analysts at Cowen and Company in a report released on Friday. They currently have a $70.00 price target on the stock. Cowen and Company’s price target points to a potential upside of 24.87% from the company’s current price.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. Berenberg Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday. Jefferies Group LLC cut Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 target price on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Leerink Swann decreased their target price on Merck & Co. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. raised Merck & Co. to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $67.07.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $56.06 on Friday. Merck & Co. has a twelve month low of $54.41 and a twelve month high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $153,333.30, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a quick ratio of 1.21, a current ratio of 1.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.07 earnings per share. Merck & Co.’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.

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Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MRK. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. 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 purchasing an additional 3,312,459 shares during the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. 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 purchasing an additional 2,618,435 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. by 40.4% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,012,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $513,535,000 after purchasing an additional 2,304,142 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. by 70.4% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 5,568,791 shares of the company’s stock worth $353,841,000 after purchasing an additional 2,300,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. by 36.3% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 7,766,906 shares of the company’s stock worth $497,774,000 after purchasing an additional 2,070,487 shares during the last quarter. 72.86% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Merck & Co.

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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