Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 16.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 802,580 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 110,701 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $46,238,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at approximately $115,000. First New York Securities LLC NY purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at approximately $121,000. 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 valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the period. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 2,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. Finally, Lowe fs LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,619 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 46 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.59% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $62.14. 12,204,208 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $171.83 billion, a PE ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.86. The company has a 50-day moving average of $62.56 and a 200-day moving average of $58.70.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The business earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.96%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
MRK has been the subject of several analyst reports. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday. Sanford C. Bernstein restated an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 price target (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €65.05 ($72.28).
In other Merck & Co. news, 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 ($68.68), for a total transaction 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 sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the company’s 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 transaction of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
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.
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