Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 17.4% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 7,594,539 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,127,036 shares during the period. Merck & Co. makes up 1.0% of Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest holding. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership owned about 0.28% of Merck & Co. worth $427,345,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 172.3% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,705,564 shares of the company’s stock valued at $429,347,000 after acquiring an additional 4,243,246 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 55.3% during the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 9,623,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $616,185,000 after acquiring an additional 3,428,400 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,442,709,000 after acquiring an additional 3,312,459 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 95,700.4% during the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 3,281,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $210,016,000 after acquiring an additional 3,277,738 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 415.5% during the 3rd quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,560,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $227,977,000 after acquiring an additional 2,869,844 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.60% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. stock opened at $58.65 on Tuesday. Merck & Co. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $66.41. The firm has a market cap of $154,141.17, a PE ratio of 14.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.89 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post 4.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.27%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is presently 48.24%.
MRK has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Barclays upgraded Merck & Co. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $62.00 to $64.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 5th. SunTrust Banks upgraded Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on Merck & Co. from $68.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. Finally, DZ Bank upgraded Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.53.
In other Merck & Co. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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Merck & Co. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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