Traders Sell Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) on Strength Following Insider Selling

Traders sold shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading hours on Tuesday after an insider sold shares in the company. $450.18 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $719.83 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $269.65 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Merck & Co., Inc. had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co., Inc. traded up $3.41 for the day and closed at $62.07Specifically, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,039,175. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Cowen reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, November 3rd. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, October 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $67.06.

The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. The firm has a market cap of $169,180.00, a PE ratio of 60.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.93 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 27.08%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.10%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Krilogy Financial LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,000 after acquiring an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Balentine LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. RB Capital Management LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during the second quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 4,587 shares of the company’s stock valued at $294,000 after acquiring an additional 23 shares during the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 9,291 shares of the company’s stock valued at $595,000 after acquiring an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% during the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 4,313 shares of the company’s stock valued at $276,000 after acquiring an additional 40 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.68% of the company’s stock.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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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