Commonwealth Equity Services LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,330,001 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 59,242 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC owned approximately 0.05% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $103,434,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of MRK. OLD Mission Capital LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the third quarter valued at approximately $247,000. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 21.1% in the first quarter. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management now owns 4,245 shares of the company’s stock valued at $327,000 after purchasing an additional 740 shares in the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter worth $659,000. Crescent Grove Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.1% during the first quarter. Crescent Grove Advisors LLC now owns 15,228 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,183,000 after acquiring an additional 1,010 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 34.3% during the first quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 393,593 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,342,000 after acquiring an additional 100,428 shares in the last quarter. 71.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MRK. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $90.00 to $85.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 7th. SVB Leerink increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $99.00 to $101.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $100.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, June 9th. Truist assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, July 27th. They set a “buy” rating and a $92.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $82.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 24th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $91.09.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 28th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31. The company had revenue of $11.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.21 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.48% and a return on equity of 50.93%. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.37 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.51 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.65 per share. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.77%.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc engages in the provision of health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. It operates through the following segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, and Other. The Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products.
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