Great West Life Assurance Co. Can reduced its position in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 3,058,351 shares of the company’s stock after selling 43,856 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can owned approximately 0.11% of Merck & worth $195,742,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Boston Partners raised its holdings in Merck & by 2.6% during the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 19,935,016 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,266,671,000 after purchasing an additional 500,476 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its holdings in Merck & by 0.6% during the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 13,414,669 shares of the company’s stock worth $852,368,000 after purchasing an additional 77,344 shares in the last quarter. Sanders Capital LLC raised its holdings in Merck & by 4.0% during the second quarter. Sanders Capital LLC now owns 12,052,595 shares of the company’s stock worth $835,462,000 after purchasing an additional 458,950 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & by 0.4% during the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 9,821,563 shares of the company’s stock worth $624,064,000 after purchasing an additional 41,748 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its holdings in Merck & by 8.1% during the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 9,723,813 shares of the company’s stock worth $623,199,000 after purchasing an additional 732,720 shares in the last quarter. 72.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
MRK has been the subject of several analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 price target (up from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. BidaskClub cut shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on shares of Merck & from $75.00 to $74.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.81.
Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at 64.55 on Friday. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $64.27 and a 200 day moving average of $63.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $176.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.95 and a beta of 0.80.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.93 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th were issued a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.91%. Merck &’s payout ratio is currently 76.11%.
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Merck & Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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