OPSEU Pension Plan Trust Fund increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.5% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 59,342 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 5,642 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up about 1.5% of OPSEU Pension Plan Trust Fund’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 2nd largest position. OPSEU Pension Plan Trust Fund’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,884,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 89.9% in the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 18,381,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,404,356,000 after buying an additional 8,699,890 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $278,124,000. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 36.9% in the 2nd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 5,153,530 shares of the company’s stock valued at $398,522,000 after buying an additional 1,390,378 shares in the last quarter. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $102,394,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 197,558,293 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,277,182,000 after buying an additional 1,212,965 shares in the last quarter. 73.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research firms have commented on MRK. The Goldman Sachs Group raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $91.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Monday, August 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, August 4th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, November 10th. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 1st. Finally, Truist began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $96.00 price objective on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.33.
Shares of MRK traded up $1.20 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $81.38. 165,679 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,481,082. The company has a current ratio of 1.32, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $65.25 and a 1-year high of $92.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $202.86 billion, a PE ratio of 17.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.42. The business has a fifty day moving average of $79.74 and a 200-day moving average of $80.23.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 27th. The company reported $1.74 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.44 by $0.30. The business had revenue of $12.55 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.21 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 55.13% and a net margin of 24.33%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.51 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total value of $20,360,651.19. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 422,329 shares in the company, valued at $34,221,318.87. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents for cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases; neuromuscular blocking agents; cholesterol modifying medicines; and anti-bacterial and vaginal contraceptive products.
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