Albion Financial Group UT increased its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 60,286 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,375 shares during the period. Albion Financial Group UT’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $3,473,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at approximately $115,000. Lowe fs LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,619 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 46 shares during the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.1% in the second quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 3,012 shares of the company’s stock valued at $174,000 after buying an additional 91 shares during the last quarter. Round Table Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at about $200,000. Finally, Keel Point LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at about $204,000. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 1.38% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $62.51. The stock had a trading volume of 14,541,462 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $62.58 and a 200 day moving average of $58.61. The stock has a market cap of $172.85 billion, a PE ratio of 34.29 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.86.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 101.10%.
Several analysts have issued reports on MRK shares. Barclays PLC upped their price objective on Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group upped their price objective on Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Sanford C. Bernstein restated an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 price objective (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 target price on Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Leerink Swann reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €64.74 ($71.93).
In other news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total value of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 39,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total transaction of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Merck & Co. 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, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.