Merck & Co. Inc. [NYSE: MRK] loss -0.04% or -0.03 points to close at $76.24 with a heavy trading volume of 8713777 shares. The company report on March 24, 2021 that Merck Appoints Caroline Litchfield Chief Financial Officer.
Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced that Caroline Litchfield has been appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), effective April 1, 2021. Litchfield succeeds Robert M. Davis; as previously announced (link), Davis, Merck’s current CFO, will become president of Merck, effective April 1, 2021, and will become chief executive officer on July 1, 2021.
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“Ensuring our company’s sustainable financial strength is essential to enable Merck to deliver on our mission to save and improve lives and to create long-term value for all our stakeholders,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. “Caroline’s appointment as our next CFO is the result of a combination of factors – most importantly, Caroline’s financial expertise, remarkable track record, and leadership – as well as our commitment to developing talent and our succession planning for leadership roles.”.
It opened the trading session at $76.07, the shares rose to $76.68 and dropped to $75.91, the range by which the price of stock traded the whole day. The daily chart for MRK points out that the company has recorded -8.08% loss over the past six months. However, it is still -14.22% lower than its most recent low trading price.
If we look at the average trading volume of 11.68M shares, MRK reached to a volume of 8713777 in the most recent trading day, which is why market watchdogs consider the stock to be active.
Here is what top equities market gurus are saying about Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]:
Based on careful and fact-backed analyses by Wall Street experts, the current consensus on the target price for MRK shares is $96.33 per share. Analysis on target price and performance of stocks is usually carefully studied by market experts, and the current Wall Street consensus on MRK stock is a recommendation set at 1.90. This rating represents a strong Buy recommendation, on the scale from 1 to 5, where 5 would mean strong sell, 4 represents Sell, 3 is Hold, and 2 indicates Buy.
Bernstein have made an estimate for Merck & Co. Inc. shares, keeping their opinion on the stock as Outperform, with their previous recommendation back on November 10, 2020. While these analysts kept the previous recommendation, Berenberg raised their target price to Hold. The new note on the price target was released on September 29, 2020, representing the official price target for Merck & Co. Inc. stock. Previously, the target price had yet another raise from $91 to $105, while Goldman kept a Buy rating on MRK stock.
The Average True Range (ATR) for Merck & Co. Inc. is set at 1.40, with the Price to Sales ratio for MRK stock in the period of the last 12 months amounting to 4.01. The Price to Book ratio for the last quarter was 7.62, with the Price to Cash per share for the same quarter was set at 3.20.
Trading performance analysis for MRK stock
Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] fell into the red zone at the end of the last week, falling into a negative trend and dropping by -1.37. With this latest performance, MRK shares gained by 2.28% in over the last four-week period, additionally sinking by -8.08% over the last 6 months – not to mention a rise of 10.41% in the past year of trading.
Overbought and oversold stocks can be easily traced with the Relative Strength Index (RSI), where an RSI result of over 70 would be overbought, and any rate below 30 would indicate oversold conditions. An RSI rate of 50 would represent a neutral market momentum. The current RSI for MRK stock in for the last two-week period is set at 52.87, with the RSI for the last a single of trading hit 54.65, and the three-weeks RSI is set at 50.27 for Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]. The present Moving Average for the last 50 days of trading for this stock 76.67, while it was recorded at 76.96 for the last single week of trading, and 79.74 for the last 200 days.
Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]: A deeper dive into fundamental analysis
Operating Margin for any stock indicates how profitable investing would be, and Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] shares currently have an operating margin of +26.16 and a Gross Margin at +73.77. Merck & Co. Inc.’s Net Margin is presently recorded at +14.72.
Return on Total Capital for MRK is now 22.39, given the latest momentum, and Return on Invested Capital for the company is 13.93. Return on Equity for this stock inclined to 27.59, with Return on Assets sitting at 8.03. When it comes to the capital structure of this company, Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] has a Total Debt to Total Equity ratio set at 132.14. Additionally, MRK Total Debt to Total Capital is recorded at 56.92, with Total Debt to Total Assets ending up at 36.53. Long-Term Debt to Equity for the company is recorded at 105.55, with the Long-Term Debt to Total Capital now at 45.47.
Reflecting on the efficiency of the workforce at the company, Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] managed to generate an average of $95,500 per employee. Receivables Turnover for the company is 6.56 with a Total Asset Turnover recorded at a value of 0.55.Merck & Co. Inc.’s liquidity data is similarly interesting compelling, with a Quick Ratio of 0.80 and a Current Ratio set at 1.00.
Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]: An earnings per share (EPS) analysis
With the latest financial reports released by the company, Merck & Co. Inc. posted 1.5/share EPS, while the average EPS was predicted by analysts to be reported at 1.34/share. When compared, the two values demonstrate that the company surpassed the estimates by a Surprise Factor of 11.90%. The progress of the company may be observed through the prism of EPS growth rate, while Wall Street analysts are focusing on predicting the 5-year EPS growth rate for MRK. When it comes to the mentioned value, analysts are expecting to see the 5-year EPS growth rate for Merck & Co. Inc. go to 8.70%.
An analysis of insider ownership at Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]
There are presently around $142,838 million, or 75.70% of MRK stock, in the hands of institutional investors. The top three institutional holders of MRK stocks are: VANGUARD GROUP INC with ownership of 208,410,644, which is approximately -0.693% of the company’s market cap and around 0.10% of the total institutional ownership; BLACKROCK INC., holding 195,017,904 shares of the stock with an approximate value of $14.87 billion in MRK stocks shares; and STATE STREET CORP, currently with $8.7 billion in MRK stock with ownership of nearly -2.459% of the company’s market capitalization.
Positions in Merck & Co. Inc. stocks held by institutional investors increased at the end of February and at the time of the February reporting period, where 1,514 institutional holders increased their position in Merck & Co. Inc. [NYSE:MRK] by around 79,994,815 shares. Additionally, 1,033 investors decreased positions by around 89,888,195 shares, while 284 investors held positions by with 1,703,647,781 shares. The mentioned changes placed institutional holdings at 1,873,530,791 shares, according to the latest SEC report filing. MRK stock had 276 new institutional investments in for a total of 7,851,345 shares, while 119 institutional investors sold positions of 5,705,386 shares during the same period.