Somerville Kurt F lowered its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.2% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 35,907 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,200 shares during the period. Somerville Kurt F’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $2,068,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at about $115,000. NewSquare Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 14.2% in the second quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 2,104 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the period. First New York Securities LLC NY purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $121,000. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 2,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. Finally, Lowe fs LLC increased its stake 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. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.18% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $62.77. The stock had a trading volume of 10,775,249 shares. 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 $173.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.43 and a beta of 0.68. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $62.66 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.40.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating 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 firm earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. The business’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.93%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is 101.10%.
A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on MRK. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $74.00 price target (up from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, August 11th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $62.00 price target (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, August 8th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Jefferies Group lowered their price target on Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €63.20 ($70.23).
In other Merck & Co. 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 document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on 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 transaction, 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. 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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