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What should you know before buying stock in Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK)

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) is -5.76% lower on its value in year-to-date trading and has touched a low of $71.71 and a high of $87.80 in the current 52-week trading range. The question becomes, what are the chances the stock will make a comeback and enjoy potential growth. Why not look at analysts view on what the future holds for the stock. The MRK stock was last observed hovering at around $77.09 in the last trading session, with the day’s loss setting it 0.0% off its average median price target of $97.00 for the next 12 months. It is also 27.95% off the consensus price target high of $107.00 offered by 23 analysts, but current levels are 2.42% higher than the price target low of $79.00 for the same period.

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Currently trading at $77.09, the stock is 1.53% and 1.30% above its SMA20 and SMA50 respectively. However, with a daily trading volume of 8.29 million and changing 0.00% at the moment leaves the stock -3.28% off its SMA200. MRK registered 4.46% gain for a year compared to 6-month loss of -7.06%. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average (SMA 50) of $75.30 and a 200-day simple moving average (SMA200) of $79.14.

The stock witnessed a 5.17% gain in the last 1 month and extending the period to 3 months gives it a -4.34%, and is 1.34% up over the last 5 days. If we measure the stock’s price variations over the week and the month, we find that the volatility rates stand at 1.56% over the week and 1.80% over the month.

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) has around 74000 employees, a market worth around $195.06B and $47.99B in sales. Current P/E ratio is 27.74 and Fwd P/E is 10.54. Profit margin for the company is 14.70%. Distance from 52-week low is 7.49% and -12.20% from its 52-week high. The company has generated returns on investments over the last 12 months (10.80%).

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) Analyst Forecasts

Analyst recommendations provided by FactSet shows that the consensus forecast for Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) is a “Overweight”. 23 analysts offering their recommendations for the stock have an average rating of 1.90, where 5 rate it as a Hold and 3 think it is a “Overweight”. 15 of the analysts rate the stock as a “Buy”. 0 analysts have rated the stock as a Sell or Underperform.

Merck & Co. Inc. is expected to release its quarterly report on 07/29/2021 and quarterly earnings per share for the current quarter are estimated at $1.64 with sales reaching $12.74B over the same period.The EPS is expected to shrink by -28.00% this year, but quarterly earnings will post 9.60% year-over-year. Quarterly sales are estimated to grow 5.70% in year-over-year returns.

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) Top Institutional Holders

3,442 institutions hold shares in Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK), with 2.2M shares held by insiders accounting for 0.09% while institutional investors hold 75.78% of the company’s shares. The shares outstanding are 2.53B, and float is at 2.53B with Short Float at 0.72%. Institutions hold 75.72% of the Float.

The top institutional shareholder in the company is Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) with over 208.41 million shares valued at $17.05 billion. The investor’s holdings represent 8.24% of the MRK Shares outstanding. As of Dec 30, 2020, the second largest holder is Blackrock Inc. with 195.02 million shares valued at $15.95 billion to account for 7.71% of the shares outstanding. The other top investors are State Street Corporation which holds 114.15 million shares representing 4.51% and valued at over $9.34 billion, while Geode Capital Management, LLC holds 1.66% of the shares totaling 42.1 million with a market value of $3.44 billion.

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) Insider Activity

A total of 24 insider transactions have happened at Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) in the last six months, with sales accounting for 7 and purchases happening 17 times. The most recent transaction is an insider sale by FRAZIER KENNETH C ,the company’sChairman, President & CEO. SEC filings show that FRAZIER KENNETH C sold 280,000 shares of the company’s common stock on Nov 09 at a price of $81.42 per share for a total of $22.8 million. Following the sale, the insider now owns 0.41 million shares.

Merck & Co. Inc. disclosed in a document filed with the SEC on Oct 05 that Davis Robert M (EVP, Global Svcs & CFO) sold a total of 251,273 shares of the company’s common stock. The trade occurred on Oct 05 and was made at $81.03 per share for $20.36 million. Following the transaction, the insider now directly holds 0.17 million shares of the MRK stock.

Still, SEC filings show that on Aug 13, Chattopadhyay Sanat (Exe V-P & Pres. MMD) disposed off 10,380 shares at an average price of $83.01 for $0.86 million. The insider now directly holds 67,373 shares of Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK).

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Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK): Who are the competitors?

The company’s main competitors (and peers) include Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) that is trading 35.79% up over the past 12 months and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) that is 26.41% higher over the same period. Sanofi (SNY) is 15.03% up on the 1-year trading charts. Short interest in the company’s stock has fallen -1.82% from the last report on Feb 11, 2021 to stand at a total of 18.47 million short shares sold with a short interest ratio of 1.46.

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