Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 3,058,066 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 36,051 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up approximately 0.9% of Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 22nd largest position. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. owned 0.11% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $195,809,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Perennial Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% in the 2nd quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. Stelac Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $104,000. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 728.3% during the 3rd quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 13,014 shares during the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 115 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Barnett & Company Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 481.6% during the 2nd quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. now owns 2,053 shares of the company’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 1,700 shares during the last quarter. 72.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on 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 owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
MRK has been the subject of several analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Citigroup raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. UBS Group dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.35.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded down $0.01 on Wednesday, reaching $54.89. 5,283,410 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 14,686,185. The firm has a market capitalization of $149,830.00, a P/E ratio of 59.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.75. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $53.36 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The company has a current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.50%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 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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