Zions Bancorporation lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 51.0% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 31,371 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 10,596 shares during the quarter. Zions Bancorporation’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,008,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Honeywell International Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% during the 3rd quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 633,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $40,576,000 after purchasing an additional 100,500 shares in the last quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 65.0% during the 2nd quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 7,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $491,000 after purchasing an additional 3,019 shares in the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.3% during the 3rd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 524,481 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,582,000 after purchasing an additional 81,290 shares in the last quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.5% during the 2nd quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC now owns 44,558 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,856,000 after purchasing an additional 3,861 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Crescent Grove Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth $1,092,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.24% of the company’s stock.
In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 77,500 shares of company stock valued at $4,758,175. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.73% and a net margin of 6.40%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.89 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 earnings per share for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.43%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 206.45%.
MRK has been the subject of several analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. UBS Group lowered their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.88.
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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
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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