W.G. Shaheen & Associates DBA Whitney & Co raised its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 77,650 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 235 shares during the period. Merck & Co. makes up about 1.8% of W.G. Shaheen & Associates DBA Whitney & Co’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 18th largest position. W.G. Shaheen & Associates DBA Whitney & Co’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $4,473,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of MRK. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.4% in the second quarter. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora now owns 39,162 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,256,000 after buying an additional 535 shares during the last quarter. Macguire Cheswick & Tuttle Investment Counsel LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.7% in the second quarter. Macguire Cheswick & Tuttle Investment Counsel LLC now owns 102,806 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,923,000 after buying an additional 751 shares during the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 4.6% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 101,189 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,829,000 after buying an additional 4,481 shares during the last quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 28,735 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,655,000 after buying an additional 394 shares during the last quarter. Finally, 1st Global Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.2% in the second quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 18,226 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,050,000 after buying an additional 213 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.81% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $62.41. 13,605,282 shares of the company were exchanged. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $47.97 and a 1-year high of $64.00. The company has a 50 day moving average of $62.76 and a 200-day moving average of $58.03. The company has a market capitalization of $172.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.23 and a beta of 0.63.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.95%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is 101.10%.
A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the company. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, September 12th. Berenberg Bank reissued a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Sunday, September 11th. Finally, 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 report on Friday, September 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.20 ($70.23).
In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 45,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €57.99 ($64.43), for a total value of €2,609,550.00 ($2,899,500.00). Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 123,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €7,141,526.49 ($7,935,029.43). The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction 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. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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