Capital International Sarl boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.4% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 39,743 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,043 shares during the quarter. Capital International Sarl’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,615,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Pacifica Partners Inc. bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $35,000. Lloyd Advisory Services LLC. bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $42,000. Moser Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $59,000. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $60,000. Finally, Permanens Capital L.P. bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $66,000. 75.74% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of MRK traded up $3.78 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $72.00. The stock had a trading volume of 6,669,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 18,445,974. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $79.60 and a 200-day simple moving average of $84.79. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $65.25 and a one year high of $92.64. The firm has a market cap of $175.13 billion, a PE ratio of 18.90, a P/E/G ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.69. The company has a current ratio of 1.24, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.15 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $11.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.71 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.01% and a return on equity of 49.41%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.04 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 47.01%.
A number of research analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. UBS Group decreased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $99.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $92.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 29th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. Finally, Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, February 5th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $94.50.
In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 106,099 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
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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