Nicholas Co. Inc. WI purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm purchased 477,372 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $28,102,000.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Blume Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 14.0% in the third quarter. Blume Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,710 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 210 shares during the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 16.6% in the third quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 2,102 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 3.9% in the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 2,187 shares of the company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 83 shares during the last quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth $135,000. Finally, Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth $135,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.10% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.983% during trading on Friday, reaching $61.935. 8,354,533 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $53.06 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $63.91 and a 200-day moving average price of $62.49. The stock has a market capitalization of $170.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 43.926 and a beta of 0.79.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.89 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.89. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.08% and a net margin of 14.30%. The firm earned $10.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.22 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.93 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post $3.81 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 15th were issued a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, March 13th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.01%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 92.61%.
A number of analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. Vetr lowered shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating and set a $52.27 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, December 27th. Bryan, Garnier & Co initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Friday, January 13th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Leerink Swann restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, March 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, January 11th. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $67.74.
In related news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 53,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.48, for a total value of $3,418,398.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas R. Cech sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.42, for a total value of $317,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $323,442. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 160,809 shares of company stock valued at $10,261,846. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
About Merck & Co.
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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