Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Stock Rating Lowered by Jefferies Group LLC

Jefferies Group LLC downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) from a hold rating to an underperform rating in a report published on Wednesday. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Merck & Co.’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.

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on MRK. UBS AG dropped their target price on Merck & Co. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $70.00 target price on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. 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. HSBC Holdings plc raised Merck & Co. from a reduce rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Barclays PLC downgraded Merck & Co. from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $72.00 to $62.00 in a report on Monday, October 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $67.07.

Shares of Merck & Co. (MRK) opened at $56.06 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a quick ratio of 1.21 and a current ratio of 1.50. Merck & Co. has a 1 year low of $54.41 and a 1 year high of $66.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $153,333.30, a P/E ratio of 14.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.78.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released 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 firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post 3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Headinvest LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 2.2% during the first quarter. Headinvest LLC now owns 26,530 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,686,000 after acquiring an additional 560 shares during the last quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 3.1% in the first quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 409,453 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,017,000 after buying an additional 12,350 shares in the last quarter. NBT Bank N A NY increased its position in Merck & Co. by 0.4% in the first quarter. NBT Bank N A NY now owns 78,167 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,967,000 after buying an additional 323 shares in the last quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 0.6% in the first quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 10,106 shares of the company’s stock worth $642,000 after buying an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Quadrant L P CA increased its position in Merck & Co. by 92.8% in the first quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 428,531 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,229,000 after buying an additional 206,301 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.86% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co. 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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