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 company‚Äôs stock after buying an additional 74,000 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises approximately 1.8% of FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co‚Äôs holdings, making the stock its 16th largest position. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co‚Äôs 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 company‚Äôs 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 company‚Äôs 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 company‚Äôs 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 company‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúoverweight‚ÄĚ rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating to a ‚Äúhold‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ 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 ‚ÄúBuy‚ÄĚ and an average target price of $67.93.In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,851 shares of the company‚Äôs 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 company‚Äôs 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 company‚Äôs 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.‚Äôs 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.‚Äôs 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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