Aspiriant LLC cut its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.4% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 22,015 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,255 shares during the period. Aspiriant LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $1,253,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Raymond James Trust N.A. raised its position in Merck & Co. by 3.3% in the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 337,745 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,457,000 after buying an additional 10,865 shares during the period. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at $274,347,000. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 16.1% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,411,985 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,954,000 after buying an additional 334,806 shares during the last quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at $239,761,000. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 7.0% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,107,242 shares of the company’s stock valued at $58,584,000 after buying an additional 72,808 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.216% on Friday, reaching $62.645. The company had a trading volume of 1,418,437 shares. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $64.86. The company has a market capitalization of $173.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.364 and a beta of 0.68. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $62.57 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.63.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. Merck & Co.’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.86 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is 101.10%.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on MRK. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday. Bank of America Corp. raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Thursday. Leerink Swann reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday. Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Vetr downgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co. has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €65.05 ($72.28).
In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 transaction, the insider now owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the company’s 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 owned by company 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.
Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK).
Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.