The Mount Vernon Associates Inc. MD Invests $206,000 in Merck & Co. (MRK)

The Mount Vernon Associates Inc. MD Invests $206,000 in Merck & Co. (MRK)

Mount Vernon Associates Inc. MD acquired a new position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor acquired 3,570 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $206,000.

Several other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 43,031,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,276,774,000 after buying an additional 578,591 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 2.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 27,068,748 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,432,206,000 after buying an additional 525,220 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.5% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 23,656,034 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,249,222,000 after buying an additional 353,474 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 13,626,514 shares of the company’s stock worth $720,986,000 after buying an additional 152,049 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.4% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 12,574,367 shares of the company’s stock worth $665,310,000 after buying an additional 409,471 shares during the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.59% during trading on Friday, hitting $62.14. The company had a trading volume of 12,204,208 shares. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $62.56 and a 200-day moving average of $58.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $171.83 billion, a PE ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.96%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is 101.10%.

MRK has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Vetr upgraded Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, July 4th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. Twelve research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €65.05 ($72.28).

In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total value of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred 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 in the company, valued at €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.

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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