Atwood & Palmer Inc. held its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 3,874 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $223,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased 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 last quarter. Keel Point LLC purchased 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 last quarter. Finally, RMB Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth $214,000. 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. 13,605,282 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $62.76 and its 200-day moving average is $58.03. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $47.97 and a 52-week high of $64.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $172.58 billion, a PE ratio of 34.23 and a beta of 0.63.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The firm earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.86 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.95%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 101.10%.
MRK has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Vetr upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, July 4th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. Jefferies Group boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Leerink Swann reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €63.20 ($70.23).
In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 45,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €57.99 ($64.43), for a total transaction of €2,609,550.00 ($2,899,500.00). Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 123,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €7,141,526.49 ($7,935,029.43). The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total transaction of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
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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