Icon Advisers Inc. Co. decreased its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 31.9% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 44,900 shares of the company’s stock after selling 21,000 shares during the period. Icon Advisers Inc. Co.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $2,587,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Virginia Retirement System bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $24,058,000. Lockheed Martin Investment Management Co. bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $794,000. Alexandria Capital LLC raised its position in Merck & Co. by 43.8% in the first quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 24,435 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,293,000 after buying an additional 7,439 shares during the period. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $3,251,000. Finally, Commonwealth Equity Services Inc raised its position in Merck & Co. by 3.6% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 845,044 shares of the company’s stock worth $44,711,000 after buying an additional 29,679 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.216% on Friday, reaching $62.645. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,419,237 shares. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $64.86. The firm has a market cap of $173.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.364 and a beta of 0.68. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $62.57 and a 200-day moving average of $58.63.
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, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.86 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders 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 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.94%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
A number of equities analysts have commented on the company. Vetr lowered Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday. Jefferies Group raised their price objective on Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Deutsche Bank AG raised 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. Piper Jaffray Cos. restated a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research note on Sunday, August 7th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €65.05 ($72.28).
In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was 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 transaction, the insider now owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total value of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by 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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