Trade Report: Today, Merck & Co. (MRK) Stake Decreased by IMS Capital Management

Today, Merck & Co. (MRK) Stake Decreased by IMS Capital Management

IMS Capital Management reduced its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.1% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 8,917 shares of the company’s stock after selling 100 shares during the period. IMS Capital Management’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $557,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 174,819,694 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,071,362,000 after buying an additional 3,242,254 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 74,363,785 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,284,098,000 after buying an additional 535,407 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 4.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 44,732,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,577,045,000 after buying an additional 1,701,520 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 6.2% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 26,224,184 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,510,776,000 after buying an additional 1,531,565 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 24.1% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 22,992,642 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,324,996,000 after buying an additional 4,468,488 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.25% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.92% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $62.21. The company had a trading volume of 3,501,268 shares. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $65.46. The company has a market capitalization of $171.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.77 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $61.63 and a 200 day moving average price of $60.02.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $10.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.17 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.76% and a return on equity of 24.25%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.96 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 9th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 13th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.02%. This is an increase from Merck & Co.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 93.88%.

A number of analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price target (up from $65.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, October 27th. Vetr raised Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $65.80 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 7th. Bank of America Corp. raised Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 13th. Berenberg Bank reissued a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Sunday, September 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Sunday, October 16th. Thirteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.24.

In other Merck & Co. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 140,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $9,104,200.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 514,957 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $33,487,653.71. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.07, for a total transaction of $2,532,456.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,005,354.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

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, 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.

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