Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY trimmed its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.8% in the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 413,769 shares of the company‚Äôs stock after selling 11,810 shares during the quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY‚Äôs holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $25,116,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its holdings 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 purchasing an additional 5,880,457 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth about $232,626,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.8% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,486,915 shares of the company‚Äôs stock worth $757,959,000 after purchasing an additional 3,682,328 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,653,047 shares of the company‚Äôs stock worth $2,346,241,000 after purchasing an additional 3,242,430 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management LTD raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4,320.3% during the 2nd quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 3,096,008 shares of the company‚Äôs stock worth $187,928,000 after purchasing an additional 3,025,967 shares during the last quarter. 72.31% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $72.35 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $193.64 billion, a PE ratio of 18.18, a P/E/G ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $72.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters‚Äô consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. The business had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.‚Äôs quarterly revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.28 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th were given a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.65%. Merck & Co., Inc.‚Äôs dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.
In related news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the business‚Äôs stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total value of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,018,000. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the business‚Äôs stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 938,788 shares of the company‚Äôs stock, valued at $61,021,220. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 929,360 shares of company stock valued at $64,370,599 over the last quarter. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.
MRK has been the subject of several recent research reports. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. SunTrust Banks reissued a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Barclays boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an ‚Äúoverweight‚ÄĚ rating in a report on Friday, September 7th. Guggenheim initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, October 8th. They set a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ rating to a ‚Äúhold‚ÄĚ rating in a report on Monday, October 1st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company‚Äôs stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of ‚ÄúBuy‚ÄĚ and an average target price of $70.24.
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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