Princeton Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 6,393 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 585 shares during the period. Princeton Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $368,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of MRK. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC raised its position in Merck & Co. by 2.5% in the first quarter. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC now owns 7,880 shares of the company’s stock valued at $417,000 after buying an additional 191 shares in the last quarter. BTC Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at $3,482,000. Virginia Retirement System purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at $24,058,000. Lockheed Martin Investment Management Co. purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at $794,000. Finally, 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 valued at $1,293,000 after buying an additional 7,439 shares in the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.59% on Friday, reaching $62.14. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 12,204,208 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $171.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $62.56 and a 200 day moving average of $58.70. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.86.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the 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 the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.86 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.96%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is 101.10%.
Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price target (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Vetr lowered Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, October 10th. Bank of America Corp. raised Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Thursday. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price target (down from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €65.05 ($72.28).
In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly 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 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.
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