HL Financial Services LLC reduced its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 197,968 shares of the company’s stock after selling 12,477 shares during the period. HL Financial Services LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $11,405,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. NewSquare Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 14.2% in the second quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 2,104 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the period. Wagner Bowman Management Corp boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.0% in the second quarter. Wagner Bowman Management Corp now owns 23,668 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,363,000 after buying an additional 228 shares during the period. Investment House LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.4% in the second quarter. Investment House LLC now owns 61,812 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,561,000 after buying an additional 2,029 shares during the period. Pitcairn Co. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the second quarter. Pitcairn Co. now owns 29,036 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,673,000 after buying an additional 520 shares during the period. Finally, Stoneridge Investment Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 79.1% in the second quarter. Stoneridge Investment Partners LLC now owns 16,525 shares of the company’s stock worth $952,000 after buying an additional 7,300 shares during the period. 72.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 1.00% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $61.52. The stock had a trading volume of 13,054,599 shares. The stock has a market cap of $170.12 billion, a PE ratio of 33.75 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $62.53 and a 200 day moving average price of $58.84.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations 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 earned $0.86 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders 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 2.99%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
MRK has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Sunday. Bank of America Corp. raised Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Thursday. Leerink Swann reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Thirteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €65.58 ($72.06).
In other Merck & Co. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.61 ($68.80), for a total value of €2,454,312.00 ($2,697,046.15). Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 39,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €2,454,312 ($2,697,046.15). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.21), for a total value of €2,532,456.00 ($2,782,918.68). Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,797,092.43). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by company 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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