Capital Advisors Inc. OK raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 170,234 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 7,680 shares during the period. Merck & Co. comprises about 1.5% of Capital Advisors Inc. OK’s portfolio, making the stock its 26th largest position. Capital Advisors Inc. OK’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $9,807,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $115,000. NewSquare Capital LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 14.2% in the second quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 2,104 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the last quarter. First New York Securities LLC NY acquired a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $121,000. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 2,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lowe fs LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,619 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 46 shares during the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.09 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $171.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.06 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $64.86. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.50 and its 200 day moving average is $58.90.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The firm’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 101.10%.
A number of research firms recently weighed in on MRK. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $62.00 target price (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Vetr cut shares of Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, October 10th. Bank of America Corp. raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 13th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (down from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Thirteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €65.58 ($72.06).
In related news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.61 ($68.80), for a total transaction of €2,454,312.00 ($2,697,046.15). Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,697,046.15). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of €63.03 ($69.26), for a total transaction of €189,090.00 ($207,791.21). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate 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.
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