Boulegeris Investments Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 21.2% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 11,212 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,960 shares during the quarter. Boulegeris Investments Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $718,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Perennial Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares during the period. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth about $104,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% during the second quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 232 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares during the period. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter worth about $127,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.63% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $56.27 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $153,304.08, a PE ratio of 33.69, a P/E/G ratio of 2.90 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $53.63 and a 12 month high of $66.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.41%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 114.97%.
In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on MRK. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, September 8th. Morgan Stanley lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $56.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, October 30th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 target price (down from $75.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. UBS Group lowered their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.29.
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Merck & Co., Inc. 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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