Compton Capital Management Inc. RI boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 19,411 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Compton Capital Management Inc. RI’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $1,118,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Gerstein Fisher boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 12.8% in the second quarter. Gerstein Fisher now owns 17,067 shares of the company’s stock worth $983,000 after buying an additional 1,931 shares in the last quarter. Kidder Stephen W boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.1% in the second quarter. Kidder Stephen W now owns 13,160 shares of the company’s stock worth $758,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 13.6% in the second quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 36,391 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,096,000 after buying an additional 4,349 shares in the last quarter. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $779,000. Finally, Norinchukin Bank The boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.7% in the second quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 396,757 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,857,000 after buying an additional 6,678 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.73% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $62.20. The stock had a trading volume of 4,770,241 shares. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.00. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $62.69 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.33. The company has a market cap of $172.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.12 and a beta of 0.68.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities 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 is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.94%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 101.10%.
A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price objective on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their price objective 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 research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.20 ($70.23).
In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total value 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 approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total transaction of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently 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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