NewSquare Capital LLC raised its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 14.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,104 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 261 shares during the period. NewSquare Capital LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $121,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter valued at about $115,000. Lowe fs LLC raised 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 in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors raised 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 in 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. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.59% on Friday, hitting $62.14. The company had a trading volume of 12,204,208 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $62.56 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.70. The company has a market capitalization of $171.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The business earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.86 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is 101.10%.
Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday. BMO Capital Markets lowered Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Sanford C. Bernstein restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $74.00 target price (up from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Thursday, August 11th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $62.00 target price (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. 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. Merck & Co. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €65.58 ($72.87).
In related news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total value of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 directly 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 corporate 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.