Merck & Co., Inc. Can’t Be More Risky. Option Traders Sell It

 Merck & Co., Inc. Can't Be More Risky. Option Traders Sell It

In today’s session Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) recorded an unusually high (1,048) contracts volume of put trades. Someone, most probably a professional was a very active buyer of the December, 2016 put, expecting serious MRK decrease. With 1,048 contracts traded and 10464 open interest for the Dec, 16 contract, it seems this is a quite bearish bet. The option with symbol: MRK161216P00058000 closed last at: $0.36 or 14.3% down. About 2.94 million shares traded hands. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has risen 10.65% since April 25, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 4.64% the S&P500.

Analysts await Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) to report earnings on February, 2 before the open. They expect $0.90 earnings per share, down 3.23% or $0.03 from last year’s $0.93 per share. MRK’s profit will be $2.50 billion for 17.16 P/E if the $0.90 EPS becomes a reality. After $1.07 actual earnings per share reported by Merck & Co., Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -15.89% negative EPS growth.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Ratings Coverage

Out of 12 analysts covering Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), 8 rate it a “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 4 “Hold”. This means 67% are positive. $72 is the highest target while $50 is the lowest. The $62.22 average target is 0.70% above today’s ($61.79) stock price. Merck & Co. Inc. has been the topic of 29 analyst reports since August 13, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. As per Wednesday, September 30, the company rating was initiated by Societe Generale. The rating was upgraded by Barclays Capital on Tuesday, December 1 to “Overweight”. On Friday, April 15 the stock rating was maintained by Jefferies with “Hold”. On Friday, August 19 the stock rating was maintained by UBS with “Buy”. The firm has “Buy” rating by Argus Research given on Tuesday, November 17. The firm has “Hold” rating by Berenberg given on Thursday, August 27. The company was maintained on Friday, September 9 by Barclays Capital. Bank of America downgraded the shares of MRK in a report on Wednesday, January 27 to “Neutral” rating. The company was maintained on Monday, May 9 by Credit Suisse. The stock of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) earned “Overweight” rating by JP Morgan on Monday, September 21.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service.”

Insitutional Activity: The institutional sentiment decreased to 1.05 in Q2 2016. Its down 0.02, from 1.07 in 2016Q1. The ratio worsened, as 51 funds sold all Merck & Co., Inc. shares owned while 583 reduced positions. 96 funds bought stakes while 583 increased positions. They now own 1.97 billion shares or 0.55% less from 1.98 billion shares in 2016Q1.
Pathstone Family Office Ltd Liability Com accumulated 107,766 shares or 5.9% of the stock. Kanawha Management Ltd Liability holds 0.24% of its portfolio in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) for 24,426 shares. Citigroup holds 0.12% of its portfolio in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) for 1.97M shares. The Florida-based Thomas J Herzfeld Advsr has invested 0.08% in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). Natl Asset Mgmt, a New York-based fund reported 55,651 shares. Kcg has 0.05% invested in the company for 39,653 shares. Berkshire Asset Ltd Liability Pa owns 153,861 shares or 1.35% of their US portfolio. Clarivest Asset reported 1,858 shares or 0% of all its holdings. Segall Bryant Hamill Limited Liability Corporation reported 121,821 shares or 0.18% of all its holdings. Northstar Asset Management Ltd Liability Com accumulated 0.44% or 18,194 shares. Fjarde Ap has 0.85% invested in the company for 634,540 shares. Evanson Asset Mngmt Lc, a California-based fund reported 5,289 shares. Winslow Asset last reported 1.88% of its portfolio in the stock. Rathbone Brothers Public Ltd Com has 0.18% invested in the company for 58,274 shares. Mcdaniel Terry And Com accumulated 7,590 shares or 0.1% of the stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global healthcare company. The company has a market cap of $171.95 billion. The Firm offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It has a 31.44 P/E ratio. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical.

MRK Company Profile

Merck & Co., Inc., incorporated on 1970, is a global healthcare company. The Firm offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures. The Firm has activities in Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Alliances and Healthcare Services divisions. Human health pharmaceutical products consist of therapeutic and preventive agents, generally sold by prescription, for the treatment of human disorders. The Firm sells its human health pharmaceutical products primarily to drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies and managed healthcare providers, such as health maintenance organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and other institutions. Vaccine products consist of preventive pediatric, adolescent and adult vaccines, primarily administered at physician offices.

More news for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) were recently published by: Businesswire.com, which released: “Merck Announces Increased Quarterly Dividend” on November 22, 2016. Nasdaq.com‘s article titled: “Merck & Co Inc (MRK) Chairman, President & CEO Kenneth C Frazier Sold $9. …” and published on November 11, 2016 is yet another important article.

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