Horan Capital Management increased its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 14.4% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 49,411 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 6,208 shares during the period. Horan Capital Management’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $2,846,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $115,000. Lowe fs LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,619 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 46 shares during the period. Keel Point LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $204,000. NorthRock Partners LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.2% in the first quarter. NorthRock Partners LLC now owns 3,862 shares of the company’s stock worth $206,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Finally, RMB Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth $214,000. 72.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.10% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $62.96. The stock had a trading volume of 7,679,801 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $62.85 and a 200-day moving average of $57.69. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.00. The stock has a market cap of $174.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.54 and a beta of 0.63.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The firm earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.86 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.92%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
MRK has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Berenberg Bank reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 target price (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Credit Suisse Group AG raised Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research report on Sunday, August 7th. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their target price on Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.20 ($70.23).
In related news, CEO Kenneth C. Frazier sold 60,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €58.00 ($64.44), for a total transaction of €3,480,000.00 ($3,866,666.67). Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 554,856 shares in the company, valued at €32,181,648 ($35,757,386.67). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 50,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €57.69 ($64.10), for a total value of €2,884,500.00 ($3,205,000.00). Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €2,884,500 ($3,205,000). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company 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.
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