Forbes J M & Co. LLP raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.2% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 155,375 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,841 shares during the period. Merck & Co. comprises approximately 2.5% of Forbes J M & Co. LLP’s portfolio, making the stock its 16th largest position. Forbes J M & Co. LLP’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $8,951,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. TNB Financial increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 5.3% in the first quarter. TNB Financial now owns 43,651 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,309,000 after buying an additional 2,186 shares during the period. Donald L. Hagan LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 2.8% in the first quarter. Donald L. Hagan LLC now owns 4,742 shares of the company’s stock valued at $251,000 after buying an additional 131 shares during the period. Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Co. increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 4.3% in the first quarter. Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Co. now owns 25,862 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,368,000 after buying an additional 1,059 shares during the period. Alpha Windward LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.9% in the first quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 4,941 shares of the company’s stock valued at $261,000 after buying an additional 42 shares during the period. Finally, Capital Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 12.4% in the first quarter. Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 48,868 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,586,000 after buying an additional 5,386 shares during the period. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.81% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $62.41. 6,333,721 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $172.58 billion, a PE ratio of 34.23 and a beta of 0.63. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $64.00. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $62.79 and its 200 day moving average price is $57.96.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping 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 business’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.86 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.97%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
MRK has been the topic of several recent research reports. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, June 8th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, June 9th. Jefferies Group lowered their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, July 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.20 ($70.23).
In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 45,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €57.99 ($64.43), for a total transaction of €2,609,550.00 ($2,899,500.00). Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 123,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately €7,141,526.49 ($7,935,029.43). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kenneth C. Frazier sold 60,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €58.00 ($64.44), for a total transaction of €3,480,000.00 ($3,866,666.67). Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 554,856 shares in the company, valued at €32,181,648 ($35,757,386.67). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. Company Profile
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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