Court Place Advisors LLC lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 52.0% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 43,227 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 14,779 shares during the quarter. Court Place Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,432,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 728.3% during the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after acquiring an additional 13,014 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 103.7% during the fourth quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after acquiring an additional 1,270 shares in the last quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 748.1% during the second quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC now owns 2,256 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after acquiring an additional 1,990 shares in the last quarter. Finally, QCI Asset Management Inc. NY raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% during the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 2,494 shares of the company’s stock worth $160,000 after acquiring an additional 239 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.79% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. SunTrust Banks upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, February 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.41.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $55.37 on Wednesday. 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 company has a market capitalization of $149,290.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.42, a PEG ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $53.12 and a 1-year high of $66.41.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.89 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.47%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 105.49%.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
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Merck & Co., Inc. 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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