Vigilant Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 248.9% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 23,213 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 16,560 shares during the period. Vigilant Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,647,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at about $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 208.4% in the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 1,340 shares during the period. Taylor Wealth Management Partners acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% in the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after purchasing an additional 1,114 shares during the period. Finally, Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 86.5% in the 3rd quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after purchasing an additional 768 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.33% of the company’s stock.
MRK has been the topic of a number of research reports. Citigroup set a $79.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. Guggenheim assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, October 8th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $71.92.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.05. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 34.20% and a net margin of 8.44%. The firm had revenue of $10.79 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.87 billion. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th will be issued a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 14th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.04%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 277,879 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.81, for a total transaction of $20,510,248.99. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 277,879 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,510,248.99. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Ashley Watson sold 47,036 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.33, for a total value of $3,496,185.88. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 32,990 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,452,146.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 1,017,443 shares of company stock worth $73,155,331 in the last 90 days. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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 and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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