Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.4% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 127,602 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 498 shares during the quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $8,177,000 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. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its position in Merck & Co. by 2.3% during the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 21,272 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,338,000 after buying an additional 469 shares in the last quarter. Newman Dignan & Sheerar Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co. by 0.8% during the first quarter. Newman Dignan & Sheerar Inc. now owns 64,307 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,086,000 after buying an additional 493 shares in the last quarter. National Pension Service grew its position in Merck & Co. by 0.5% during the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 1,809,033 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,783,000 after buying an additional 9,751 shares in the last quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co. by 3.7% during the first quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 23,842 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,514,000 after buying an additional 853 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kempner Capital Management Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co. by 5.1% during the first quarter. Kempner Capital Management Inc. now owns 20,480 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,301,000 after buying an additional 995 shares in the last quarter. 73.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of research firms have weighed in on MRK. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Friday. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 price objective (down from $75.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Friday, September 1st. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Sunday, August 20th. Finally, HSBC Holdings plc raised Merck & Co. from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.00.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded up 0.58% on Tuesday, reaching $65.51. 3,716,365 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $62.98 and a 200 day moving average of $63.69. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $178.67 billion, a PE ratio of 35.47 and a beta of 0.81.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 19.65% and a return on equity of 19.69%. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. Merck & Co.’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 76.11%.
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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. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. 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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