IMS Capital Management raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 27.1% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 14,194 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 3,029 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises approximately 1.0% of IMS Capital Management’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 27th biggest holding. IMS Capital Management’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,085,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Bank OZK lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. Bank OZK now owns 64,862 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,602,000 after acquiring an additional 906 shares in the last quarter. Paradigm Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter worth about $234,000. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 1,037,708 shares of the company’s stock worth $73,615,000 after acquiring an additional 7,088 shares in the last quarter. Smith Salley & Associates lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.6% during the 3rd quarter. Smith Salley & Associates now owns 101,561 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,205,000 after acquiring an additional 2,598 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 22.5% during the 3rd quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 16,312 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,157,000 after acquiring an additional 2,998 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.39% of the company’s stock.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. acquired 4,121,683 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 8th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $16.00 per share, for a total transaction of $65,946,928.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 64,662 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.96, for a total value of $5,105,711.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 53,327 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,210,699.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 1,094,632 shares of company stock worth $87,840,652. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.
Several research firms recently issued reports on MRK. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. Argus increased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Citigroup set a $65.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 20th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, March 4th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $77.83.
MRK stock opened at $78.53 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.17, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $214.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.09, a P/E/G ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.63. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $56.26 and a 1 year high of $83.85.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 1st. The company reported $1.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $11 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.93 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 36.83% and a net margin of 14.71%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.98 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.65 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th were given a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.
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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.
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