Jones Financial Companies Lllp lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 174,427 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,338 shares during the quarter. Jones Financial Companies Lllp’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $14,626,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% in the second quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the period. GHP Investment Advisors Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.3% in the second quarter. GHP Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 45,688 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,831,000 after acquiring an additional 2,298 shares during the period. Holderness Investments Co. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.7% in the second quarter. Holderness Investments Co. now owns 29,832 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,501,000 after acquiring an additional 1,076 shares during the period. Retirement Capital Strategies purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter worth approximately $207,000. Finally, Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.6% in the second quarter. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. now owns 28,562 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,395,000 after acquiring an additional 159 shares during the period. 75.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 14th. Leerink Swann assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Citigroup increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $92.56.
Shares of MRK traded up $1.60 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $85.06. 8,550,000 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 9,599,076. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $66.10 and a 52-week high of $87.07. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $83.38 and a 200 day simple moving average of $80.94. The firm has a market cap of $213.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.60, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.21.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.94 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.06 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.59%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.
In other news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at $8,783,245.07. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.
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