High Pointe Capital Management LLC cut its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 7.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 28,510 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,150 shares during the period. Merck & Co. makes up 2.5% of High Pointe Capital Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 9th largest position. High Pointe Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $1,642,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 2.6% in the first quarter. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC now owns 17,945 shares of the company’s stock worth $949,000 after buying an additional 452 shares during the last quarter. Wade G W & Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 2.5% in the first quarter. Wade G W & Inc. now owns 17,735 shares of the company’s stock worth $938,000 after buying an additional 437 shares during the last quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 7.1% in the first quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. now owns 83,141 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,387,000 after buying an additional 5,546 shares during the last quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI increased its position in Merck & Co. by 35.8% in the first quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 77,329 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,087,000 after buying an additional 20,404 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sanders Morris Harris Inc. purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth about $1,352,000. Institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.216% during trading on Friday, hitting $62.645. The stock had a trading volume of 1,419,237 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $173.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.364 and a beta of 0.68. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $62.57 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.63. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.86.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The business had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. Merck & Co.’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given 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 2.94%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, August 8th. Vetr downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a report on Thursday. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (down from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, September 12th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €65.05 ($72.28).
In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the sale, the insider now owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total value of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 39,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company 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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