PGGM Investments raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 4,599,914 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 156,975 shares during the period. Merck & Co. makes up about 1.4% of PGGM Investments’ investment portfolio, making the stock its 13th largest position. PGGM Investments’ holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $265,001,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Genesee Valley Trust Co. raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 2.6% in the second quarter. Genesee Valley Trust Co. now owns 26,192 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,509,000 after buying an additional 670 shares in the last quarter. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.3% in the second quarter. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. now owns 71,898 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,142,000 after buying an additional 956 shares in the last quarter. Valicenti Advisory Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $203,000. First Merchants Corp raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.6% in the second quarter. First Merchants Corp now owns 8,219 shares of the company’s stock worth $474,000 after buying an additional 130 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake 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. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.93% on Tuesday, hitting $62.09. 9,987,994 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $62.50 and a 200 day moving average of $58.90. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86. The company has a market cap of $171.69 billion, a PE ratio of 34.06 and a beta of 0.68.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The firm earned $9.84 billion during 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%. Merck & Co.’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid 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 2.96%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 101.10%.
A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Vetr lowered shares of Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, October 10th. Jefferies Group increased their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 target price (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, August 8th. Finally, 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. Thirteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €65.58 ($72.06).
In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.21), for a total transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,782,918.68). Following the transaction, the insider now owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,797,092.43). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($67.92), for a total transaction of €24,229,520.00 ($26,625,846.15). Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($51,681,107). 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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