First Allied Advisory Services Inc. decreased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 57.3% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 66,805 shares of the company’s stock after selling 89,702 shares during the quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,271,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Perennial Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of 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 buying an additional 157 shares during the period. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth about $104,000. NewSquare Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 728.3% during the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 13,014 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of 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 buying an additional 115 shares during the period. Finally, Barnett & Company Inc. boosted its stake in shares of 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 buying an additional 1,700 shares during the period. 72.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) traded up $0.10 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $55.00. 6,173,538 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 14,692,896. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $53.36 and a 12 month high of $66.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $149,830.00, a PE ratio of 59.16, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.75.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 27.73%. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.89 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.49%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 206.45%.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Leerink Swann decreased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Barclays downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $72.00 to $62.00 in a research report on Monday, October 30th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.35.
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Merck & Co., Inc. 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. 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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