Northern Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 74.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 21,529 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 9,205 shares during the period. Northern Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,211,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after purchasing an additional 3,312,459 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,856,484,000 after acquiring an additional 1,834,500 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,019,572 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,731,684,000 after acquiring an additional 801,033 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.5% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 23,515,877 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,505,621,000 after acquiring an additional 1,631,013 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Partners lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 18,730,874 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,199,338,000 after acquiring an additional 145,744 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.63% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. Barclays upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price target for the company from $62.00 to $64.00 in a research report on Thursday. SunTrust Banks upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. ValuEngine raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, DZ Bank raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.47.
In related news, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $770,375.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’s 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 transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025 over the last ninety days. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Shares of MRK stock opened at $53.36 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The firm has a market cap of $147,050.20, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.78. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $66.41.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data 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. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The company’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.89 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.24%.
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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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