FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 57.3% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 203,143 shares of the companyâ€™s stock after buying an additional 74,000 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises approximately 1.8% of FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Coâ€™s holdings, making the stock its 16th largest position. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Coâ€™s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $12,331,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.6% during the 1st quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 49,101,614 shares of the companyâ€™s stock worth $2,674,552,000 after buying an additional 5,880,457 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth $232,626,000. Pzena Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 175.8% during the 1st quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 4,524,430 shares of the companyâ€™s stock worth $246,446,000 after acquiring an additional 2,883,906 shares during the period. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth $146,631,000. Finally, Natixis boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 303.8% during the 1st quarter. Natixis now owns 3,040,858 shares of the companyâ€™s stock worth $165,636,000 after acquiring an additional 2,287,728 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.14% of the companyâ€™s stock.
MRK has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Barclays boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an â€śoverweightâ€ť rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a â€śbuyâ€ť rating and set a $77.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a â€śbuyâ€ť rating to a â€śholdâ€ť rating in a research report on Monday, June 18th. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a â€śbuyâ€ť rating in a research report on Thursday, August 23rd. Finally, Bank of America upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a â€śbuyâ€ť rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of â€śBuyâ€ť and an average target price of $67.93.In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,851 shares of the companyâ€™s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total transaction of $19,611,958.08. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,801 shares of the companyâ€™s stock, valued at $68,103,814.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the companyâ€™s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $14,825,915.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 938,788 shares in the company, valued at $61,021,220. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 649,510 shares of company stock worth $44,201,809 over the last three months. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $71.10 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $190.84 billion, a PE ratio of 17.86, a P/E/G ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $52.83 and a 12-month high of $71.57.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. Merck & Co., Inc.â€™s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.01 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.â€™s payout ratio is 48.24%.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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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