Farmers Trust Co. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 6.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 7,698 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 437 shares during the period. Farmers Trust Co.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $589,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 202,833,998 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,389,044,000 after purchasing an additional 924,701 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 202,833,998 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,389,044,000 after purchasing an additional 924,701 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 184,252.6% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,985,039 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,765,600,000 after purchasing an additional 38,963,892 shares during the period. Capital International Investors increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 178.2% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 32,984,606 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,339,928,000 after acquiring an additional 21,127,887 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 64.3% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 20,519,549 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,455,653,000 after acquiring an additional 8,032,634 shares in the last quarter. 74.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
MRK stock opened at $76.71 on Tuesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $52.83 and a twelve month high of $80.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.44. The stock has a market cap of $209.01 billion, a PE ratio of 17.68, a P/E/G ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.62.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 1st. The company reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.01. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 35.10% and a net margin of 14.71%. The company had revenue of $11 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.98 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.65 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.87%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 25th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
A number of analysts have commented on MRK shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Credit Suisse Group set a $86.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 13th. Citigroup set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $81.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $73.15.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 231,566 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.08, for a total value of $18,080,673.28. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 923,516 shares in the company, valued at approximately $72,108,129.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.96, for a total value of $759,600.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 244,618 shares of company stock worth $19,075,949 in the last ninety days. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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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 agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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