Strs Ohio cut its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 2,441,775 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,620 shares during the period. Strs Ohio’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $140,670,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Middleton & Co Inc MA boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.0% in the first quarter. Middleton & Co Inc MA now owns 185,147 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,796,000 after buying an additional 5,465 shares during the period. Hyman Charles D bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $905,000. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.2% in the first quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 29,619 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,567,000 after buying an additional 630 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 7.3% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 84,687 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,481,000 after buying an additional 5,798 shares during the period. Finally, B & T Capital Management DBA Alpha Capital Management bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $2,290,000. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 1.00% on Monday, reaching $61.52. The company had a trading volume of 13,054,599 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $170.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.75 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.86. The company has a 50 day moving average of $62.53 and a 200-day moving average of $58.84.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping 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 business earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.86 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date 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%.
A number of equities analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a report on Thursday. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Sunday, September 11th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Sunday. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. Thirteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €65.58 ($72.06).
In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €61.81 ($67.92), for a total transaction of €24,229,520.00 ($26,625,846.15). Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at €47,029,807.37 ($51,681,107). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of Merck & Co. 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 owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,797,092.43). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
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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