Traders Sell Merck & Co. (MRK) on Strength (MRK)
Investors sold shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading hours on Tuesday. $80.78 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $131.21 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $50.43 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Merck & Co. had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co. traded up $0.61 for the day and closed at $61.94
MRK has been the topic of several research reports. Berenberg Bank reissued a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 target price (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research note on Sunday, August 7th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of €63.31 ($70.34).
The stock has a market capitalization of $171.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.98 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $62.42 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.54.
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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The business earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.86 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.97%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 101.10%.
In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €57.49 ($63.88), for a total value of €1,724,700.00 ($1,916,333.33). Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 162,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately €9,322,060.99 ($10,357,845.54). The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.61 ($69.57), for a total transaction of €2,454,312.00 ($2,727,013.33). Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 39,200 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,727,013.33). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 13.6% in the first quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 637,539 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,732,000 after buying an additional 76,320 shares in the last quarter. Newman Dignan & Sheerar Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.6% in the first quarter. Newman Dignan & Sheerar Inc. now owns 64,406 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,408,000 after buying an additional 1,020 shares in the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth about $6,236,000. Grassi Investment Management bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth about $6,879,000. Finally, LGT Capital Partners LTD. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 43.2% in the first quarter. LGT Capital Partners LTD. now owns 519,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,476,000 after buying an additional 156,590 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.94% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. 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, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. 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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