Stoneridge Investment Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 79.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 16,525 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 7,300 shares during the period. Stoneridge Investment Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $952,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Raymond James Trust N.A. boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 3.3% in the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 337,745 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,457,000 after buying an additional 10,865 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 16.1% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,411,985 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,954,000 after buying an additional 334,806 shares during the last quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth about $239,761,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 7.0% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,107,242 shares of the company’s stock worth $58,584,000 after buying an additional 72,808 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Avalon Advisors LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the first quarter. Avalon Advisors LLC now owns 522,566 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,649,000 after buying an additional 5,754 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.59% on Friday, hitting $62.14. 12,204,208 shares of the stock traded hands. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $64.86. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $62.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.70. The company has a market capitalization of $171.83 billion, a PE ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. Analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm 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. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 101.10%.
MRK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Berenberg Bank restated a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Thursday. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €65.05 ($72.28).
In other Merck & Co. news, 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total transaction of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly 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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