Excalibur Management Corp decreased its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 88,324 shares of the company’s stock after selling 750 shares during the period. Merck & accounts for 5.0% of Excalibur Management Corp’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 6th largest position. Excalibur Management Corp’s holdings in Merck & were worth $5,612,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Intellectus Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter worth about $103,000. Gradient Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & by 41.3% in the first quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 2,306 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 674 shares during the period. Pinnacle Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the first quarter worth about $152,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & by 50.6% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 2,678 shares of the company’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the period. Finally, Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter worth about $159,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.80% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded up 0.66% on Friday, hitting $64.11. 13,342,135 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $175.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.83 and a beta of 0.81. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $63.68 and a 200-day moving average of $63.71. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12-month low of $57.18 and a 12-month high of $66.80.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 15.32% and a return on equity of 24.99%. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.93 EPS. The business’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.85 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is 76.11%.
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A number of brokerages recently issued reports on MRK. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 target price (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday. BMO Capital Markets reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $73.00 price target (down previously from $74.00) on shares of Merck & in a report on Monday, July 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday. BidaskClub lowered shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $66.00 price target (up previously from $64.00) on shares of Merck & in a report on Monday, July 17th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.70.
In other news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total value of $317,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 14,317 shares in the company, valued at approximately $909,702.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
Merck & 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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