High Point Bank & Trust Co. held its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 3,629 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. High Point Bank & Trust Co.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $210,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of MRK. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $115,000. 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. JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 3.1% in the second quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 3,012 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,000 after buying an additional 91 shares during the last quarter. Keel Point LLC purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $204,000. Finally, Carlson Capital Management purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $217,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 1.80% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $63.90. The stock had a trading volume of 20,345,605 shares. The company has a market cap of $176.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.05 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $47.97 and a 1-year high of $64.86. The company’s 50 day moving average is $62.66 and its 200 day moving average is $58.40.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The business earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. Merck & Co.’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.88%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 101.10%.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on MRK. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on Merck & Co. from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Leerink Swann reissued a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €63.20 ($70.23).
In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares in the company, 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 at the SEC website. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were 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. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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.