Seaward Management Limited Partnership decreased its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.2% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 90,802 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,076 shares during the period. Seaward Management Limited Partnership’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $5,231,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at approximately $239,761,000. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth about $250,542,000. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth about $174,068,000. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 249.7% in the first quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 2,288,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,082,000 after buying an additional 1,634,004 shares in the last quarter. Finally, OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth about $67,685,000. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 1.00% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $61.52. The company had a trading volume of 13,054,599 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $170.12 billion, a PE ratio of 33.75 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $47.97 and a 52-week high of $64.86. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $62.53 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.84.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the 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 quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.86 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.99%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is presently 101.10%.
A number of analysts have recently issued reports on MRK shares. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 target price (up from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Thirteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €65.58 ($72.06).
In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €61.81 ($67.92), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,625,846.15). Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($51,681,107). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.61 ($68.80), for a total value of €2,454,312.00 ($2,697,046.15). Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,697,046.15). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is 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.