Albion Financial Group UT grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 17.6% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 73,625 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 11,022 shares during the quarter. Albion Financial Group UT’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,469,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.6% during the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 49,101,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,674,552,000 after acquiring an additional 5,880,457 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth about $232,626,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.8% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,486,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $757,959,000 after purchasing an additional 3,682,328 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,653,047 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,346,241,000 after purchasing an additional 3,242,430 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management LTD boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4,320.3% in the 2nd quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 3,096,008 shares of the company’s stock valued at $187,928,000 after purchasing an additional 3,025,967 shares in the last quarter. 72.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
NYSE:MRK opened at $72.35 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.33. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $52.83 and a one year high of $72.89. The company has a market cap of $193.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th were given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.65%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.
In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total transaction of $20,168,789.50. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares in the company, valued at approximately $70,037,626. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. bought 666,666 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $15.00 per share, for a total transaction of $9,999,990.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 929,360 shares of company stock worth $64,370,599. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on MRK. Citigroup set a $79.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Bank of America raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Barclays raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $75.00 to $78.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 12th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $70.24.
Merck & Co., Inc. Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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