Rhumbline Advisers cut its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.8% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 4,468,429 shares of the company’s stock after selling 35,973 shares during the quarter. Rhumbline Advisers’ holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $243,395,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Santori & Peters Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter valued at $110,000. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors increased its holdings in Merck & Co. by 79.3% during the 4th quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors now owns 2,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after purchasing an additional 920 shares in the last quarter. Avestar Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter valued at $130,000. WealthTrust Arizona LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co. by 103.7% during the 4th quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,270 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new stake in Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter valued at $156,000. 74.87% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 9,972 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.66, for a total value of $594,929.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 24,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $1,392,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Shares of Merck & Co. opened at $59.14 on Monday, according to Marketbeat Ratings. The firm has a market capitalization of $159.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.86, a PEG ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a current ratio of 1.42. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $52.83 and a 52 week high of $66.41.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $10.04 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.09 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 30.93% and a net margin of 4.31%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post 4.23 EPS for the current year.
A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group set a $55.00 price target on Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 23rd. ValuEngine cut Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. DZ Bank raised Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Merck & Co. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on Merck & Co. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, February 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.87.
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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