Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor bought 4,348,915 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $250,542,000.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Accredited Investors Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 9,125 shares of the company’s stock valued at $483,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the period. Thomaspartners Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. now owns 9,024 shares of the company’s stock valued at $477,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management increased its position in Merck & Co. by 0.8% in the first quarter. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management now owns 4,738 shares of the company’s stock valued at $250,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the period. NorthRock Partners LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 1.2% in the first quarter. NorthRock Partners LLC now owns 3,862 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Finally, Stillwater Investment Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 0.8% in the second quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 5,603 shares of the company’s stock valued at $323,000 after buying an additional 46 shares during the period. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.44% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.66. 10,116,166 shares of the company were exchanged. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $62.63 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.58. The stock has a market capitalization of $170.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.82 and a beta of 0.68.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.98%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday. Leerink Swann restated a “market perform” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets cut shares of Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Sanford C. Bernstein restated an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 price target (up from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, August 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. restated a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price target (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, August 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co. currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €63.80 ($70.89).
In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total transaction of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total transaction of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
About Merck & Co.
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK).
Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.