Allegis Investment Advisors LLC decreased its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 13.2% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 10,237 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,559 shares during the period. Allegis Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $584,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Raymond James Trust N.A. raised 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 valued at $19,457,000 after buying an additional 10,865 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at $274,347,000. Nordea Investment Management AB raised 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 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 Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at $239,761,000. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised 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 valued at $58,584,000 after buying an additional 72,808 shares during the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 1.30% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $63.07. 2,371,829 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $174.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.60 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 stock’s 50-day moving average price is $62.68 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.56.
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, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. Merck & Co.’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
MRK has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Berenberg Bank restated a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Sunday, September 11th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 target price (down from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, September 12th. Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $62.00 to $73.00 in a report on Sunday, August 7th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €63.37 ($70.41).
In related 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 value of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Merck & Co. Company Profile
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.