Mizuho reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in a research note issued to investors on Sunday morning, AnalystRatings.com reports. Mizuho currently has a $97.00 price target on the stock.

“We like shares of MRK driven by KEYTRUDA’s penetration of global markets in multiple indications, which we believe will drive P&L transformation. While KEYTRUDA is growing in dominance, both in the market and on MRK’s P&L, we see MRK as having considerable runway (2028 LOE) to address concerns regarding concentration of revenue.”,” Mizuho’s analyst commented.

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on MRK. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, May 28th. They set a neutral rating and a $85.00 target price for the company. Leerink Swann assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, August 15th. They issued an outperform rating and a $103.00 price target on the stock. Atlantic Securities upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Argus upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Bank of America set a $97.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $93.29.

Shares of MRK stock opened at $81.69 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $66.10 and a 12-month high of $87.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $221.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $84.74 and a 200-day moving average of $81.87.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The firm’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.06 EPS. Research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.69%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 50.69%.

In other news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MRK. Titan Capital Management LLC CA bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth about $25,000. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% during the second quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares during the period. JJJ Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $27,000. Cumberland Partners Ltd acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $40,000. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth approximately $41,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.36% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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Analyst Recommendations for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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