Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 6.3% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 2,563,429 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 151,225 shares during the period. Merck & Co. makes up approximately 1.4% of Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 27th largest position. Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. owned 0.09% of Merck & Co. worth $150,909,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in Merck & Co. by 88.7% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 35,668,056 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,226,043,000 after buying an additional 16,764,608 shares during the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 992.4% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 4,936,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $290,682,000 after buying an additional 4,484,427 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth about $223,288,000. Swedbank bought a new position in Merck & Co. during the third quarter worth about $135,119,000. Finally, Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 59.5% in the third quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 5,147,943 shares of the company’s stock worth $321,283,000 after buying an additional 1,921,350 shares during the last quarter. 74.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.88% during trading on Friday, reaching $62.00. 7,271,963 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $170.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 43.97 and a beta of 0.79. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $53.06 and a 12 month high of $66.80. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $63.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $62.49.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.89. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.08% and a net margin of 14.30%. The company had revenue of $10.10 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.22 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.93 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post $3.81 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 7th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 15th were given a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 13th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.01%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 92.61%.
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Several research firms have weighed in on MRK. Vetr downgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating and set a $52.27 price objective on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, December 27th. Bryan, Garnier & Co began coverage on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Friday, January 13th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Leerink Swann restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, March 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, January 11th. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $67.74.
In related news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.51, for a total value of $322,550.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $329,001. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 53,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.48, for a total value of $3,418,398.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 160,809 shares of company stock worth $10,261,846 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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