Short Interest in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Declines By 7.4%

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was the recipient of a significant drop in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 19,860,000 shares, a drop of 7.4% from the September 30th total of 21,440,000 shares. Currently, 0.8% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 8,190,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.4 days.

MRK has been the subject of several research reports. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday. Svb Leerink initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, August 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Mizuho increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $97.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 30th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $96.24.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Bath Savings Trust Co increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 67.8% in the second quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 6,799 shares of the company’s stock valued at $570,000 after buying an additional 2,746 shares in the last quarter. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at $5,953,000. Pensionfund Sabic acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at $3,941,000. South Texas Money Management Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the second quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. now owns 645,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $54,150,000 after buying an additional 2,952 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stillwater Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.6% in the second quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 4,796 shares of the company’s stock valued at $402,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.64% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $84.90 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.26 and a quick ratio of 0.98. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $83.97 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $83.05. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $70.89 and a 52-week high of $87.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $215.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.56, a P/E/G ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.54.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.16% and a net margin of 20.26%. The company had revenue of $12.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.59 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.19 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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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