Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC reduced its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 100,242 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,476 shares during the period. Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $5,775,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 43,031,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,276,774,000 after buying an additional 578,591 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 2.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 27,068,748 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,432,206,000 after buying an additional 525,220 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.5% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 23,656,034 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,249,222,000 after buying an additional 353,474 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 23.8% in the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 19,034,299 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,096,566,000 after buying an additional 3,655,639 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 13,626,514 shares of the company’s stock valued at $720,986,000 after buying an additional 152,049 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.81% on Friday, hitting $62.41. The stock had a trading volume of 13,605,282 shares. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $47.97 and a 1-year high of $64.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $172.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.23 and a beta of 0.63. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $62.76 and a 200-day moving average of $58.03.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.86 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.95%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 101.10%.
Several analysts recently weighed in on the company. Argus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, June 9th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group lifted their price target on Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Leerink Swann reissued a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price target (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €63.20 ($70.23).
In related news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total value of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 45,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €57.99 ($64.43), for a total value of €2,609,550.00 ($2,899,500.00). Following the sale, the insider now owns 123,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately €7,141,526.49 ($7,935,029.43). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
About Merck & Co.
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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