Strategy Asset Managers LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.6% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 157,256 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 947 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 1.7% of Strategy Asset Managers LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 23rd largest holding. Strategy Asset Managers LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $8,849,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,442,709,000 after purchasing an additional 3,312,459 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,856,484,000 after purchasing an additional 1,834,500 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,019,572 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,731,684,000 after purchasing an additional 801,033 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.5% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 23,515,877 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,505,621,000 after purchasing an additional 1,631,013 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 18,730,874 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,199,338,000 after purchasing an additional 145,744 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.79% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $273,207. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $55.36 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 1.33. The stock has a market capitalization of $148,667.91, a P/E ratio of 13.85, a P/E/G ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $53.12 and a 52-week high of $66.41.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The firm’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.89 EPS. research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 earnings per share for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.47%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 206.45%.
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Merck & Co., Inc. 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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