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

Today, Merck & Co. (MRK) Stake Decreased by Atlanta Capital Group

Atlanta Capital Group reduced its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.7% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 12,599 shares of the company’s stock after selling 216 shares during the period. Atlanta Capital Group’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $726,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised 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 period. BlackRock Group LTD raised 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 period. Geode Capital Management LLC raised 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 period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position 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 period. Finally, Boston Partners raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 23.8% in the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 19,034,299 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,096,566,000 after buying an additional 3,655,639 shares during the period. 72.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.14 on Monday. Merck & Co. has a 12-month low of $47.97 and a 12-month high of $64.86. The stock has a market cap of $171.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $62.56 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.70.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The business earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The business’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.

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

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday. Bank of America Corp. raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Thursday. Leerink Swann reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. Twelve research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €65.58 ($72.87).

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was 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 completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the business’s 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 value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, 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 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.

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