KLCM Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 15.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 14,615 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the period. KLCM Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $842,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Raymond James Trust N.A. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.3% in the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 337,745 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,457,000 after buying an additional 10,865 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at about $274,347,000. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 16.1% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,411,985 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,954,000 after buying an additional 334,806 shares during the last quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at about $239,761,000. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 7.0% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,107,242 shares of the company’s stock valued at $58,584,000 after buying an additional 72,808 shares during the last quarter. 72.92% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.10% on Friday, hitting $62.96. 7,679,801 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $174.10 billion, a PE ratio of 34.54 and a beta of 0.63. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $47.97 and a 1-year high of $64.00. The company’s 50 day moving average is $62.85 and its 200 day moving average is $57.69.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations 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 period last year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.92%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
MRK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Berenberg Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Sunday, September 11th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price target (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Credit Suisse Group AG raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research note on Sunday, August 7th. Finally, Barclays PLC increased their price target on shares of 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 assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €63.20 ($70.23).
In other news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €57.69 ($64.10), for a total value of €2,884,500.00 ($3,205,000.00). Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €2,884,500 ($3,205,000). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. 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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