IMS Capital Management boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) by 20.1% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 16,147 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 2,704 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 1.0% of IMS Capital Management’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 25th largest position. IMS Capital Management’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,472,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at about $1,823,028,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.5% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 198,224,263 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,191,909,000 after buying an additional 10,326,974 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2,671.4% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,099,334 shares of the company’s stock worth $418,400,000 after buying an additional 4,915,334 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 216,096,057 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,730,682,000 after buying an additional 4,893,526 shares during the period. Finally, Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 256.3% during the first quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 4,882,173 shares of the company’s stock worth $400,582,000 after buying an additional 3,511,900 shares during the last quarter. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Down 1.7 %
Shares of MRK opened at $84.53 on Thursday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $71.50 and a 1-year high of $95.72. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $88.96 and its 200 day moving average price is $87.74. The company has a current ratio of 1.39, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. The stock has a market capitalization of $214.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.94, a P/E/G ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 0.33.
Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.69 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.27%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 42.27%.
Analyst Ratings Changes
MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Atlantic Securities lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. SVB Leerink boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $109.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Daiwa Capital Markets raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $89.00 to $102.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Cowen raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $98.28.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.
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