Laurion Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor bought 1,117,905 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $93,736,000. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up approximately 0.9% of Laurion Capital Management LP’s portfolio, making the stock its 6th largest position.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Compton Capital Management Inc. RI raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Compton Capital Management Inc. RI now owns 23,044 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,932,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares in the last quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. now owns 398,667 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,428,000 after acquiring an additional 3,984 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 191,863,408 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,087,745,000 after acquiring an additional 4,397,580 shares during the last quarter. Qtron Investments LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 52.0% in the 2nd quarter. Qtron Investments LLC now owns 15,528 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,302,000 after acquiring an additional 5,309 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ardsley Advisory Partners LP purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $587,000. 75.36% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of MRK stock traded down $0.15 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $82.61. The company had a trading volume of 6,836,355 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,535,764. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $84.78 and its 200 day simple moving average is $81.89. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $66.10 and a 52-week high of $87.35. The stock has a market cap of $212.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.03, a PEG ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.92.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating 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 company had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.06 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.66%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.69%.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 14th. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Leerink Swann assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, August 15th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price target on the stock. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Argus raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $93.29.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly 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.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
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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