Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) announced a quarterly dividend on Tuesday, July 23rd, RTT News reports. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of 0.55 per share on Monday, October 7th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.69%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th.
Merck & Co., Inc. has increased its dividend payment by an average of 2.2% annually over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 7 consecutive years. Merck & Co., Inc. has a payout ratio of 51.5% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Merck & Co., Inc. to earn $5.35 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $2.20 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 41.1%.
Shares of MRK stock opened at $81.69 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $213.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.82, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.53. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $66.10 and a 1-year high of $87.35. The company has a current ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $84.74 and its 200-day simple moving average is $81.87.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.06 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current year.
In related news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the business’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 value of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was 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 owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, May 28th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. Svb Leerink began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, August 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price objective for the company. Argus lifted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Leerink Swann initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, August 15th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $93.29.
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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