Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. reduced its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 89,968 shares of the companyâ€™s stock after selling 1,532 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up 0.8% of Sumitomo Life Insurance Co.â€™s portfolio, making the stock its 28th largest holding. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co.â€™s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $6,382,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of MRK. Taylor Wealth Management Partners bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the companyâ€™s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 86.5% during the 3rd quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the companyâ€™s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 768 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $127,000. Finally, Norway Savings Bank bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $132,000. 72.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, insider Roger M. Perlmutter sold 225,443 shares of the businessâ€™s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.27, for a total value of $16,969,094.61. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 366,998 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,623,939.46. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the businessâ€™s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 100,000 shares of the companyâ€™s stock, valued at approximately $7,018,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 1,279,104 shares of company stock valued at $92,845,846. Company insiders own 0.32% of the companyâ€™s stock.
NYSE:MRK opened at $74.86 on Monday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $52.83 and a one year high of $75.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.44 and a quick ratio of 1.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $201.84 billion, a PE ratio of 18.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.73.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.48%. The business had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.87 billion. Research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 earnings per share for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, October 25th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the companyâ€™s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 17th will be issued a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.94%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.â€™s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. Merck & Co., Inc.â€™s payout ratio is currently 48.24%.
MRK has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a â€śholdâ€ť rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 15th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a â€śbuyâ€ť rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Bank of America lifted their price objective on shares of 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. SunTrust Banks reiterated a â€śbuyâ€ť rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a â€śbuyâ€ť rating in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of â€śBuyâ€ť and an average price target of $71.92.
COPYRIGHT VIOLATION WARNING: â€śSumitomo Life Insurance Co. Sells 1,532 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)â€ť was originally reported by Fairfield Current and is owned by of Fairfield Current. If you are reading this report on another domain, it was stolen and republished in violation of U.S. and international copyright & trademark law. The original version of this report can be accessed at https://www.fairfieldcurrent.com/2018/11/12/sumitomo-life-insurance-co-sells-1532-shares-of-merck-co-inc-mrk.html.
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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