Puzo Michael J reduced its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.0% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 24,000 shares of the company’s stock after selling 732 shares during the quarter. Puzo Michael J’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,183,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6,517.4% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 24,307,332 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,038,169,000 after acquiring an additional 23,940,007 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the second 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 in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 67.7% during the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 6,381,329 shares of the company’s stock worth $535,075,000 after acquiring an additional 2,576,060 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.4% during the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 11,661,412 shares of the company’s stock worth $977,809,000 after acquiring an additional 1,972,587 shares during the period. Finally, Natixis acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth about $158,275,000. 74.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
MRK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 13th. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, January 6th. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, January 6th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $99.00 price target for the company. Finally, Bank of America initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, October 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.69.
Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $91.54 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $89.80 and its two-hundred day moving average is $85.55. The company has a market capitalization of $228.96 billion, a PE ratio of 21.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.52. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $72.05 and a 12-month high of $92.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.26 and a quick ratio of 0.98.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 48.16%. The business had revenue of $12.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.59 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.19 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 13th. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 56.22%.
Merck & Co., Inc. 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.
Further Reading: Price to Earnings Ratio (PE) Basics
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