Saturna Capital CORP lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 39.6% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 6,699 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,900 shares during the period. Saturna Capital CORP’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $426,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Lumbard & Kellner LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 8.2% during the first quarter. Lumbard & Kellner LLC now owns 6,365 shares of the company’s stock valued at $404,000 after buying an additional 485 shares during the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 21.3% during the first quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 23,246 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,478,000 after buying an additional 4,075 shares during the last quarter. PVG Asset Management Corp purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at approximately $2,781,000. Edgestream Partners L.P. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 394.5% during the first quarter. Edgestream Partners L.P. now owns 24,357 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,548,000 after buying an additional 19,431 shares during the last quarter. Finally, National Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 6.0% during the first quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 49,621 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,156,000 after buying an additional 2,815 shares during the last quarter. 73.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Vetr upgraded Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $71.50 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, May 15th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, May 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 25th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price target on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.00.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.57% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $65.50. The company had a trading volume of 3,108,040 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $178.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.46 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.29 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $62.98 and its 200 day moving average is $63.69.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 19.69% and a net margin of 19.65%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.89%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 76.11%.
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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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