AMP Capital Investors Ltd raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.1% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,368,503 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 15,464 shares during the period. AMP Capital Investors Ltd owned 0.05% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $87,625,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at approximately $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after purchasing an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 481.6% during the second quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. now owns 2,053 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after purchasing an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Balentine LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.85% of the company’s stock.
In related news, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $770,375.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $290,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,886,072. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025 in the last three months. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on MRK shares. Leerink Swann lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Jefferies Group restated a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, October 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Citigroup raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.88.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $55.45 on Tuesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $53.36 and a twelve month high of $66.80. The firm has a market cap of $151,020.00, a P/E ratio of 59.62, a P/E/G ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 0.75. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 27.73%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.89 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.46%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 206.45%.
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About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. 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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