Alpha Windward LLC reduced its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 9.1% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 5,007 shares of the company’s stock after selling 501 shares during the period. Alpha Windward LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $383,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 184,252.6% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,985,039 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,765,600,000 after buying an additional 38,963,892 shares during the period. Capital International Investors grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 178.2% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 32,984,606 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,339,928,000 after acquiring an additional 21,127,887 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 64.3% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 20,519,549 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,455,653,000 after acquiring an additional 8,032,634 shares in the last quarter. Matthew Goff Investment Advisor LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5,970.0% in the 3rd quarter. Matthew Goff Investment Advisor LLC now owns 5,369,519 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,460,000 after acquiring an additional 5,281,059 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Senator Investment Group LP acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $285,594,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.29% of the company’s stock.
In other news, Director Leslie A. Brun sold 3,052 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.22, for a total transaction of $235,675.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $386,100. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 231,566 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.08, for a total value of $18,080,673.28. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 923,516 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $72,108,129.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 244,618 shares of company stock valued at $19,075,949. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, January 4th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. ValuEngine raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 18th. Credit Suisse Group set a $86.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. Finally, Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $73.15.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $79.02 on Thursday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $52.83 and a one year high of $80.19. The stock has a market cap of $209.82 billion, a PE ratio of 18.21, a P/E/G ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.44 and a quick ratio of 1.15.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 1st. The company reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.01. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 35.10% and a net margin of 14.71%. The business had revenue of $11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.98 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.65 earnings per share for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 50.69%.
Merck & Co., Inc. Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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