Coldstream Capital Management Inc. cut its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.0% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 7,681 shares of the company’s stock after selling 238 shares during the period. Coldstream Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $443,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Americafirst Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $115,000. First New York Securities LLC NY bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $121,000. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its position in 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 in the last quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY raised its position in Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 2,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lowe fs LLC raised its position in Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,619 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 46 shares in the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results 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 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% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.86 EPS.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.99%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
A number of brokerages recently commented on MRK. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Sunday. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a report on Thursday, October 13th. Leerink Swann reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. 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 given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co. currently 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 stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €61.81 ($67.92), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,625,846.15). Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($51,681,107). The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,697,046.15). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by 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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