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How Wall Street Analysts View Merck


Oct. 31 2018, Published 9:32 a.m. ET

Fourth-quarter dividend

On October 25, Merck & Co. (MRK) announced a dividend of $0.55 per share for its outstanding common stock in the fourth quarter of 2018. That’s a ~15% increase from its dividend of $0.48 per share in the fourth quarter of 2017.

It announced that the dividend will be paid on January 8 to shareholders of record at the close of the market on December 17.

Merck also announced a treasury stock repurchase worth $10 billion with no time limit for completion of the repurchase.

Merck makes up ~4.08% of the iShares Core High Dividend ETF (HDV)

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Stock performance

On October 29, Merck (MRK) stock closed at $71.45, which represents a ~37% increase from its 52-week low of $52.83 on April 3.

Merck hit its 52-week high of $73.49 on October 22.

Performance of the Pharmaceutical segment 

Merck’s Pharmaceutical segment generated revenues of $9.7 billion in the third quarter, including revenues of $4.6 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively, from sales in the US and international markets. In the third quarter, the segment had a ~5% YoY (year-over-year) growth. In the US and international markets, the segment grew ~11% and 1% YoY, respectively.

The segment generated net revenues of $27.9 billion for the first nine months of the year, reflecting a ~7% YoY growth.

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Analyst recommendations

Of the 19 analysts tracking Merck in October, six of them have recommended a “strong buy,” and ten have recommended a “buy.” Three analysts have recommended a “sell.”

On October 29, Merck had a consensus 12-month target price of $78.89, which represents a ~10% return on investment over the next 12 months.

Peer ratings

Of the 20 analysts tracking Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) in October, ~35% of them have recommended a “buy.” Of the 24 analysts tracking Amgen (AMGN), ~46% of them have recommended a “buy.”

On October 29, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Amgen (AMGN), and Celgene (CELG) had consensus 12-month target prices of $59.89, $205.15, and $208.23, respectively. That represents ~20.16%, ~7.44%, and ~51.46% returns on investment, respectively, over the next 12 months.


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