Wesbanco Bank Inc. reduced its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 396,967 shares of the company’s stock after selling 412 shares during the period. Merck & Co. makes up about 1.4% of Wesbanco Bank Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 13th largest position. Wesbanco Bank Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $22,870,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in MRK. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth approximately $115,000. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its position in shares of 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 during the last quarter. First New York Securities LLC NY bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $121,000. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 2,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lowe fs LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,619 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 46 shares during the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.216% on Friday, hitting $62.645. 1,419,237 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $173.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.364 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 price of $62.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $58.63.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $9.84 billion for 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%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.86 EPS. Analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 101.10%.
A number of research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday. BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $74.00 price objective (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €65.05 ($72.28).
In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was 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.
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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