Greenleaf Trust grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 19.3% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 37,952 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 6,136 shares during the quarter. Greenleaf Trust’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,304,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 187,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,356,000 after acquiring an additional 774 shares during the period. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 26,914 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,634,000 after acquiring an additional 792 shares during the period. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the 2nd quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware now owns 15,447 shares of the company’s stock worth $938,000 after acquiring an additional 815 shares during the period. Brick & Kyle Associates boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 50,020 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,036,000 after acquiring an additional 830 shares during the period. Finally, Summit X LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% in the 1st quarter. Summit X LLC now owns 10,093 shares of the company’s stock worth $552,000 after acquiring an additional 850 shares during the period. 72.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
NYSE MRK traded up $1.44 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $69.81. The company had a trading volume of 9,113,948 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,634,493. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $72.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04. The firm has a market capitalization of $191.27 billion, a PE ratio of 17.54, a P/E/G ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. The company had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.28 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.01 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 17th were paid a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.75%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.
In related news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,018,000. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total value of $20,168,789.50. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $70,037,626. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 929,360 shares of company stock valued at $64,370,599. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts have recently commented on the company. Bank of America increased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 23rd. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 15th. Finally, Barclays upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $69.80.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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