Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.1% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 873,329 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 9,662 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $54,504,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.5% in the third quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 15,948 shares of the company’s stock valued at $995,000 after buying an additional 236 shares during the last quarter. Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 2.7% in the third quarter. Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC now owns 14,949 shares of the company’s stock valued at $933,000 after buying an additional 397 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its position in Merck & Co. by 6.1% in the third quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 33,469 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,088,000 after buying an additional 1,930 shares during the period. Insight 2811 Inc. bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the third quarter valued at $207,000. Finally, Boulegeris Investments Inc. bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the third quarter valued at $289,000. 73.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.92% on Friday, hitting $62.21. The stock had a trading volume of 3,501,268 shares. The stock has a market cap of $171.52 billion, a PE ratio of 31.77 and a beta of 0.76. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $61.63 and its 200-day moving average price is $60.02. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $65.46.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.08. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.25% and a net margin of 13.76%. The firm had revenue of $10.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.17 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.96 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.78 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 9th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 15th will be given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 13th. This is a boost from Merck & Co.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is currently 93.88%.
Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Vetr downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $62.06 target price on the stock. in a research report on Saturday, November 19th. Finally, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price (up from $65.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Thursday, October 27th. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.24.
In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 85,523 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.02, for a total transaction of $5,133,090.46. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 77,762 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,667,275.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 140,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $9,104,200.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 514,957 shares in the company, valued at $33,487,653.71. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Merck & Co. Company Profile