Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 29.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,480,654 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 564,605 shares during the period. Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. owned approximately 0.09% of Merck & Co. worth $142,910,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth approximately $115,000. NewSquare Capital LLC boosted its position 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 in the last quarter. First New York Securities LLC NY acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth approximately $121,000. Lowe fs LLC boosted its position 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 in the last quarter. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its position 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 in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.94% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 1.53% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $61.33. 11,255,844 shares of the stock traded hands. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.00. The stock has a market cap of $169.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.64 and a beta of 0.63. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $61.95 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.17.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The business 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 quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued 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 3.00%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is 101.10%.
A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price objective on Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective (down from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, September 12th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Sunday, September 11th. Finally, Barclays PLC upped their price target on Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €63.31 ($70.34).
In other Merck & Co. news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total value of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €57.49 ($63.88), for a total transaction of €1,724,700.00 ($1,916,333.33). Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 162,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately €9,322,060.99 ($10,357,845.54). 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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