Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 60,168 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,247 shares during the period. Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,268,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. United Capital Management of KS Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at $725,000. Pennsylvania Trust Co boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% in the 3rd quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co now owns 437,101 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,008,000 after acquiring an additional 8,024 shares during the last quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.6% in the 3rd quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 28,146 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,997,000 after acquiring an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. We Are One Seven LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at $1,363,000. Finally, Appleton Partners Inc. MA boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.0% in the 3rd quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA now owns 43,537 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,089,000 after acquiring an additional 2,055 shares during the last quarter. 72.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $73.61 on Thursday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $74.49. The firm has a market cap of $189.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.49, a PEG ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 14th. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.99%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 48.24%.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
Several analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 7th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Guggenheim started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, October 8th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $71.92.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares in the company, valued at $7,018,000. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total transaction of $20,168,789.50. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 971,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $70,037,626. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 696,269 shares of company stock worth $49,219,634 over the last three months. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
Recommended Story: Buyback
Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).
Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.