FormulaFolio Investments LLC lowered its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 12.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 4,830 shares of the company’s stock after selling 716 shares during the period. FormulaFolio Investments LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $278,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Private Trust Co. NA increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.1% in the first quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 62,558 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,309,000 after buying an additional 1,290 shares during the last quarter. HealthInvest Partners AB purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $13,302,000. FirstMerit Bank N A Trustee increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.1% in the first quarter. FirstMerit Bank N A Trustee now owns 238,270 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,606,000 after buying an additional 4,993 shares during the last quarter. Kelman Lazarov Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $363,000. Finally, GW&K Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 5.8% in the first quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 325,555 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,225,000 after buying an additional 17,920 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.81% during trading on Thursday, hitting $62.29. 4,403,141 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.70 and its 200 day moving average is $58.30. 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 $172.24 billion, a PE ratio of 34.17 and a beta of 0.68.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast 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 $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 2.93%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
A number of equities research analysts recently commented on MRK shares. Berenberg Bank restated a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research report on Sunday, August 7th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the company 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 issued a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €63.20 ($70.23).
In related news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total value of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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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