Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC reduced its stake in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 7.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 435,558 shares of the company’s stock after selling 35,201 shares during the period. Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $25,093,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Raymond James Trust N.A. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.3% in the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 337,745 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,457,000 after buying an additional 10,865 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 16.1% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,411,985 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,954,000 after buying an additional 334,806 shares during the last quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd bought a new stake in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth $239,761,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 7.0% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,107,242 shares of the company’s stock worth $58,584,000 after buying an additional 72,808 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $1,816,000. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.59% on Friday, reaching $62.14. The company had a trading volume of 12,204,208 shares. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $64.86. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $62.56 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.70. The company has a market capitalization of $171.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. The business earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The firm’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.86 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business 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 2.96%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 101.10%.
MRK has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Berenberg Bank reissued a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Bank of America Corp. raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised 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. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price target (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €65.58 ($72.87).
In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 directly owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by corporate 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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