Advisors Capital Management LLC Invests $5.70 Million in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Stock

Advisors Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund purchased 93,854 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,697,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the business. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter valued at approximately $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 208.4% in the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 1,340 shares during the period. Taylor Wealth Management Partners bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% in the second quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after acquiring an additional 1,114 shares during the period. Finally, Well Done LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the first quarter valued at $115,000. 72.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $69.81 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $191.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $52.83 and a 52 week high of $72.89.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. The business’s revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.01 earnings per share. Research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th were paid a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.75%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Bank of America upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Guggenheim assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, October 8th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Sunday, July 22nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $69.61.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total value of $325,050.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total value of $20,168,789.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares in the company, valued at approximately $70,037,626. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 929,360 shares of company stock worth $64,370,599. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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