How to buy Merck & Co. (MRK) shares in the UK

Learn how to easily invest in Merck & Co. shares.

Merck & Co. Inc
- $0.29 ( - 0.40%)

Merck & Co. Inc (MRK) is a leading drug manufacturers-general business based in the US. It opened the day at $71.19 after a previous close of $71.97. During the day the price has varied from a low of $70.89 to a high of $72. The latest price was $71.68 (25 minute delay). Merck & Co. is listed on the NYSE and employs 73,000 staff. All prices are listed in US Dollars.

How to buy shares in Merck & Co.

  1. Choose a platform. If you're a beginner, our share-dealing table below can help you choose.
  2. Open your account. You'll need your ID, bank details and national insurance number.
  3. Confirm your payment details. You'll need to fund your account with a bank transfer, debit card or credit card.
  4. Search the platform for stock code: MRK in this case.
  5. Research Merck & Co. shares. The platform should provide the latest information available.
  6. Buy your Merck & Co. shares. It's that simple.
The whole process can take as little as 15 minutes.

How has coronavirus impacted Merck & Co.'s share price?

Since the stock market crash that started in February 2020, Merck & Co.'s share price has had significant negative movement.

Its last market close was $71.68, which is 8.77% down on its pre-crash value of $78.57 (accounting for the 3 June 2021 split) and 15.13% up on the lowest point reached during the March 2020 crash when the shares fell as low as $62.26 (accounting for the 3 June 2021 split).

If you had bought $1,000 worth of Merck & Co. shares at the start of February 2020, those shares would have been worth $760.31 at the bottom of the March crash, and if you held on to them, then as of the last market close they'd be worth $860.16.

Merck & Co. share price (NYSE:MRK)

Use our graph to track the performance of MRK stocks over time.

Merck & Co. shares at a glance

Information last updated 2021-09-17.
Previous close$71.97
Change %-0.4029%
Information last updated 2021-09-17.
52-week range$66.6082 - $79.5043
50-day moving average$76.0326
200-day moving average$74.8557
Wall St. target price$93.21
PE ratio32.4431
Dividend yield$2.52 (3.5%)
Earnings per share (TTM)$2.196
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Fees for buying 10x Merck & Co. shares with popular platforms

Both exchange rates and share prices fluctuate in real time, so the costs presented here should be considered as a guide only. They do not incorporate stamp duty. Always refer to the platform itself for availability and pricing – which may differ from our information.

Platform Platform fee Min. initial deposit Trading fee estimate
Freetrade logo £0 No minimum £2.35
£525.04 total
Capital at risk
eToro Free Stocks logo £0 $50 £2.61
£525.30 total
Capital at risk
Degiro Share Dealing logo £0 £0.01 £0.98
£523.67 total
Capital at risk
Stake logo £0 £50 £2.64
£525.33 total
Capital at risk
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account logo £0 £1 £17.21
£539.90 total
Capital at risk
interactive investor Trading Account logo £9.99 per month No minimum £15.86
£538.55 total
Capital at risk
Fineco logo £0 No minimum £5.23
£527.92 total
Capital at risk
Halifax Share Dealing Account logo £36 per year £20 £16.06
£538.75 total
Capital at risk

Full comparison of share dealing platforms

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

Is it a good time to buy Merck & Co. stock?

The technical analysis gauge below displays real-time ratings for the timeframes you select. This is not a recommendation, however. It represents a technical analysis based on the most popular technical indicators: Moving Averages, Oscillators and Pivots. Finder might not concur and takes no responsibility.

Merck & Co. price performance over time

Historical closes compared with the last close of $71.68

1 week (2021-09-13) -2.05%
1 month (2021-08-20) -8.90%
3 months (2021-06-18) -6.44%
6 months (2021-03-19) -3.08%
1 year (2020-09-18) -12.39%
2 years (2019-09-20) -11.72%
3 years (2018-09-20) 6.21%
5 years (2016-09-20) 21.37%

Is Merck & Co. under- or over-valued?

Valuing a stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge value.

P/E ratio

Merck & Co.'s current share price divided by its per-share earnings (EPS) over a 12-month period gives a "trailing price/earnings ratio" of roughly 32x. In other words, Merck & Co. shares trade at around 32x recent earnings.

That's relatively high compared to, say, the trailing 12-month P/E ratio for the NASDAQ 100 at the end of 2019 (27.29). The high P/E ratio could mean that investors are optimistic about the outlook for the shares or simply that they're over-valued.

PEG ratio

Merck & Co.'s "price/earnings-to-growth ratio" can be calculated by dividing its P/E ratio by its growth – to give 1.3485. A PEG ratio over 1 can be interpreted as meaning shares are overvalued at the current rate of growth, or may anticipate an acceleration in growth.

The PEG ratio provides a broader view than just the P/E ratio, as it gives more insight into Merck & Co.'s future profitability. By accounting for growth, it could also help you if you're comparing the share prices of multiple high-growth companies.


Merck & Co.'s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is a whopping $19.9 billion (£14.5 billion).

The EBITDA is a measure of a Merck & Co.'s overall financial performance and is widely used to measure a its profitability.


Revenue TTM $50.4 billion
Operating margin TTM 33.02%
Gross profit TTM $34.6 billion
Return on assets TTM 11.47%
Return on equity TTM 20.4%
Profit margin 11.06%
Book value $13.145
Market capitalisation $182.5 billion

TTM: trailing 12 months

How to short and sell Merck & Co. shares

  1. Create a CFD or spread betting account.
  2. Search for the stock code. E.g. "MRK.US"
  3. Choose your position size.
  4. Select "sell" rather than "buy".
  5. Confirm your position and keep tabs on it. You may wish to set limits on your position.

There are currently 27.4 million Merck & Co. shares held short by investors – that's known as the "short interest". This figure is 18.3% up from 23.2 million last month.

There are a few different ways that this level of interest in shorting Merck & Co. shares can be evaluated.

Short interest ratio (SIR)

Merck & Co.'s "short interest ratio" (SIR) is the quantity of Merck & Co. shares currently shorted divided by the average quantity of Merck & Co. shares traded daily (recently around 8.3 million). Merck & Co.'s SIR currently stands at 3.32. In other words for every 100,000 Merck & Co. shares traded daily on the market, roughly 3320 shares are currently held short.

However Merck & Co.'s short interest can also be evaluated against the total number of Merck & Co. shares, or, against the total number of tradable Merck & Co. shares (the shares that aren't held by "insiders" or major long-term shareholders – also known as the "float"). In this case Merck & Co.'s short interest could be expressed as 0.01% of the outstanding shares (for every 100,000 Merck & Co. shares in existence, roughly 10 shares are currently held short) or 0.0109% of the tradable shares (for every 100,000 tradable Merck & Co. shares, roughly 11 shares are currently held short).

Such a low SIR usually points to an optimistic outlook for the share price, with fewer people currently willing to bet against Merck & Co..

Find out more about how you can short Merck & Co. stock.

Environmental, social and governance track record

Environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) criteria are a set of three factors used to measure the sustainability and social impact of companies like Merck & Co..

Total ESG risk score

Merck & Co.'s total ESG risk: 28.35

Socially conscious investors use ESG scores to screen how an investment aligns with their worldview, and Merck & Co.'s overall score of 28.35 (as at 01/01/2019) is nothing to write home about – landing it in it in the 47th percentile of companies rated in the same sector.

ESG scores are increasingly used to estimate the level of risk a company like Merck & Co. is exposed to within the areas of "environmental" (carbon footprint, resource use etc.), "social" (health and safety, human rights etc.), and "governance" (anti-corruption, tax transparency etc.).

Environmental score

Merck & Co.'s environmental score: 3.15/100

Merck & Co.'s environmental score of 3.15 puts it squarely in the 4th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Merck & Co. is a leader in its sector terms of its environmental impact, and exposed to a lower level of risk.

Social score

Merck & Co.'s social score: 15.55/100

Merck & Co.'s social score of 15.55 puts it squarely in the 4th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Merck & Co. is a leader in its sector when it comes to taking good care of its workforce and the communities it impacts.

Governance score

Merck & Co.'s governance score: 12.65/100

Merck & Co.'s governance score puts it squarely in the 4th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. That could suggest that Merck & Co. is a leader in its sector when it comes to responsible management and strategy, and exposed to a lower level of risk.

Controversy score

Merck & Co.'s controversy score: 3/5

ESG scores also evaluate any incidences of controversy that a company has been involved in. A high-profile company, Merck & Co. scored a 3 out of 5 for controversy – a middle-of-the-table result reflecting that Merck & Co. hasn't always managed to keep its nose clean.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) summary

Merck & Co. Inc was last rated for ESG on: 2019-01-01.

Total ESG score 28.35
Total ESG percentile 47.16
Environmental score 3.15
Environmental score percentile 4
Social score 15.55
Social score percentile 4
Governance score 12.65
Governance score percentile 4
Level of controversy 3

Merck & Co. share dividends


Dividend yield: 3.5% of stock value


Forward annual dividend yield: 3.61% of stock value


Dividend payout ratio: 44.01% of net profits

Merck & Co. has recently paid out dividends equivalent to 3.50% of its share value annually.

Merck & Co. has paid out, on average, around 44.01% of recent net profits as dividends. That has enabled analysts to estimate a "forward annual dividend yield" of 3.61% of the current stock value. This means that over a year, based on recent payouts (which are sadly no guarantee of future payouts), shareholders could enjoy a 3.61% return on their shares, in the form of dividend payments. In Merck & Co.'s case, that would currently equate to about $2.52 per share.

While Merck & Co.'s payout ratio might seem fairly standard, it's worth remembering that it may be investing much of the rest of its net profits in future growth.

Merck & Co.'s most recent dividend payout was on 7 October 2021. The latest dividend was paid out to all shareholders who bought their shares by 14 September 2021 (the "ex-dividend date").

Have Merck & Co.'s shares ever split?

Merck & Co.'s shares were split on a 1048:1000 basis on 3 June 2021. So if you had owned 1000 shares the day before before the split, the next day you'd have owned 1048 shares. This wouldn't directly have changed the overall worth of your Merck & Co. shares – just the quantity. However, indirectly, the new 4.6% lower share price could have impacted the market appetite for Merck & Co. shares which in turn could have impacted Merck & Co.'s share price.

Share price volatility

Over the last 12 months, Merck & Co.'s shares have ranged in value from as little as $66.6082 up to $79.5043. A popular way to gauge a stock's volatility is its "beta".

Beta is a measure of a share's volatility in relation to the market. The market (NYSE average) beta is 1, while Merck & Co.'s is 0.4209. This would suggest that Merck & Co.'s shares are less volatile than average (for this exchange).

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Merck & Co. overview

In 2021, Merck acquired Pandion Therapeutics.

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