Morse Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 28,476 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 500 shares during the period. Morse Asset Management Inc’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,388,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. JJJ Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $27,000. PRW Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth about $41,000. Aspire Private Capital LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth about $55,000. Thor Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth about $69,000. Finally, Contravisory Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.7% in the 2nd quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 858 shares of the company’s stock worth $72,000 after buying an additional 141 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.34% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts recently commented on MRK shares. UBS Group lifted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $87.00 to $88.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, May 28th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 21st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $91.07.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The firm’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.06 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.64%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 50.69%.
In related news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. 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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