Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. decreased its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.7% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 47,995 shares of the company’s stock after selling 806 shares during the period. Merck & Co. accounts for approximately 2.3% of Mercer Capital Advisers Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 13th largest position. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $2,764,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $115,000. Lowe fs LLC increased its position in 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. Keel Point LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $204,000. NorthRock Partners LLC increased its position in 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 period. Finally, RMB Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth $214,000. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.18% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $62.77. The company had a trading volume of 10,775,249 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 $173.57 billion, a P/E 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 announced its quarterly earnings data 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. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a $0.46 dividend. 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 payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
MRK has been the topic of a number of research reports. Vetr raised Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 4th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. Jefferies Group lowered their price objective on Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Leerink Swann reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. 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 a consensus target price of €63.20 ($70.23).
In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was 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 transaction, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €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.
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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