GHP Investment Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.3% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 45,688 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,298 shares during the quarter. GHP Investment Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,831,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth $2,166,688,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 194,589,541 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,868,587,000 after acquiring an additional 10,315,510 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.2% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 11,111,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $924,139,000 after acquiring an additional 3,244,078 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,596,161,000 after acquiring an additional 3,219,877 shares in the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 326.2% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,792,515 shares of the company’s stock worth $253,498,000 after acquiring an additional 2,902,600 shares in the last quarter. 75.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. Argus boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Citigroup boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America set a $97.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 14th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $92.56.
Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $1.60 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $85.06. 8,550,000 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,547,986. The stock has a market capitalization of $213.54 billion, a PE ratio of 19.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.92. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $66.10 and a 12-month high of $87.07. The business’s 50-day moving average is $83.38 and its 200-day moving average is $80.94.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.94 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.06 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.69%.
In related news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at $30,274,512.54. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.
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