Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK] stock Upgrade by BofA Securities analyst, price target now $130

Merck & Co. Inc. [NYSE: MRK] loss -0.05% on the last trading session, reaching $109.88 price per share at the time. The company report on January 17, 2023 that Merck Selects Perceiv AI for Inaugural Digital Sciences Studio Cohort.

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Joining the cohort in Cambridge, MA, Perceiv AI will receive direct funding and mentorship from Merck, Northpond Ventures, and McKesson Ventures to advance its prognostic platform focused on multimodal data in neurodegenerative diseases.

Perceiv AI announced that the company has been selected by Merck (NYSE: MRK) for the inaugural Merck Digital Sciences Studio (MDSS) cohort, along with eight other early-stage biomedical startups from a pool of 152 applicants. The program started in November to fuel innovative digital technologies for drug discovery and development.

Merck & Co. Inc. represents 2.53 billion in outstanding shares, while the company has a total market value of $278.49 billion with the latest information. MRK stock price has been found in the range of $109.17 to $110.36.

If compared to the average trading volume of 9.41M shares, MRK reached a trading volume of 8997928 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 $116.26 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 2.10. 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.

BofA Securities have made an estimate for Merck & Co. Inc. shares, keeping their opinion on the stock as Buy, with their previous recommendation back on January 04, 2023. While these analysts kept the previous recommendation, Credit Suisse raised their target price to Outperform. The new note on the price target was released on November 18, 2022, representing the official price target for Merck & Co. Inc. stock. On September 14, 2022, analysts increased their price target for MRK shares from 95 to 100.

The Average True Range (ATR) for Merck & Co. Inc. is set at 1.89, with the Price to Sales ratio for MRK stock in the period of the last 12 months amounting to 4.72. The Price to Book ratio for the last quarter was 6.26, with the Price to Cash per share for the same quarter was set at 4.44. Price to Free Cash Flow for MRK in the course of the last twelve months was 33.38 with Quick ratio for the last quarter at 1.20.

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 -2.11. With this latest performance, MRK shares gained by 0.15% in over the last four-week period, additionally plugging by 21.94% over the last 6 months – not to mention a rise of 36.07% 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 48.77, with the RSI for the last a single of trading hit 44.57, and the three-weeks RSI is set at 52.48 for Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]. The present Moving Average for the last 50 days of trading for this stock 108.72, while it was recorded at 109.79 for the last single week of trading, and 94.78 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 +27.94 and a Gross Margin at +72.47. Merck & Co. Inc.’s Net Margin is presently recorded at +25.24.

Return on Equity for this stock inclined to 38.88, with Return on Assets sitting at 12.52.

Merck & Co. Inc.’s liquidity data is similarly interesting compelling, with a Quick Ratio of 1.20 and a Current Ratio set at 1.50.

Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]: An earnings per share (EPS) analysis

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 11.70%.

An analysis of insider ownership at Merck & Co. Inc. [MRK]

There are presently around $205,101 million, or 76.60% of MRK stock, in the hands of institutional investors. The top three institutional holders of MRK stocks are: VANGUARD GROUP INC with ownership of 224,134,448, which is approximately 1.394% of the company’s market cap and around 0.10% of the total institutional ownership; BLACKROCK INC., holding 214,507,760 shares of the stock with an approximate value of $23.57 billion in MRK stocks shares; and STATE STREET CORP, currently with $12.89 billion in MRK stock with ownership of nearly -0.408% 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 1,452 institutional holders increased their position in Merck & Co. Inc. [NYSE:MRK] by around 72,753,943 shares. Additionally, 1,320 investors decreased positions by around 64,463,443 shares, while 356 investors held positions by with 1,729,373,281 shares. The mentioned changes placed institutional holdings at 1,866,590,667 shares, according to the latest SEC report filing. MRK stock had 149 new institutional investments in for a total of 14,212,797 shares, while 102 institutional investors sold positions of 1,605,804 shares during the same period.


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