FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 57.3% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 203,143 shares of the company‚Äôs stock after buying an additional 74,000 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 1.8% of FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co‚Äôs portfolio, making the stock its 16th largest position. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co‚Äôs holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $12,331,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth about $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. boosted 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‚Äôs stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 1,340 shares in the last quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV boosted 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‚Äôs stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Well Done LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at about $115,000. 72.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
MRK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a ‚Äúhold‚ÄĚ rating to a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating and set a $79.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. SunTrust Banks restated a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating and issued a $77.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Bank of America lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 22nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company‚Äôs stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of ‚ÄúBuy‚ÄĚ and a consensus price target of $68.55.MRK traded down $0.19 during trading on Friday, reaching $71.03. 7,433,463 shares of the company‚Äôs stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,643,854. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $72.42. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $191.27 billion, a PE ratio of 17.85, a P/E/G ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts‚Äô consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.03. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. The company had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.‚Äôs revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 17th were issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.‚Äôs dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 48.24%.
In other news, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total transaction of $325,050.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total transaction of $20,168,789.50. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares of the company‚Äôs stock, valued at $70,037,626. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 929,360 shares of company stock valued at $64,370,599. Insiders own 0.32% of the company‚Äôs stock.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
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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