First Hawaiian Bank decreased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 14.8% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 20,415 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,549 shares during the period. First Hawaiian Bank’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,574,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $2,250,767,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.4% during the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 24,251,965 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,983,811,000 after purchasing an additional 4,112,158 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 31.6% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 13,542,412 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,107,769,000 after purchasing an additional 3,252,367 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.7% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 22,569,366 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,846,174,000 after purchasing an additional 3,221,509 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 25.8% during the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 11,822,416 shares of the company’s stock worth $967,060,000 after buying an additional 2,428,079 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.86% of the company’s stock.
Shares of MRK stock opened at $76.22 on Tuesday. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $75.50 and its 200 day simple moving average is $78.85. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $71.71 and a one year high of $87.80. The firm has a market cap of $192.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.86, a P/E/G ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.30 and a quick ratio of 1.00.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 15th were given a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 12th. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.41%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.10%.
Separately, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, February 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.92.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health segments. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, diabetes, and women's health, as well as and vaccine products.
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