Cadence Capital Management LLC lowered its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 18.7% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 33,734 shares of the company’s stock after selling 7,780 shares during the quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,798,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Papp L Roy & Associates lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.2% in the second quarter. Papp L Roy & Associates now owns 10,351 shares of the company’s stock worth $800,000 after purchasing an additional 126 shares during the period. Rosenberg Matthew Hamilton raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.9% in the third quarter. Rosenberg Matthew Hamilton now owns 1,562 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after acquiring an additional 127 shares in the last quarter. Ferris Capital LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% in the second quarter. Ferris Capital LLC now owns 4,539 shares of the company’s stock worth $351,000 after acquiring an additional 129 shares in the last quarter. Pure Financial Advisors Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the second quarter. Pure Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 19,480 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,506,000 after acquiring an additional 136 shares in the last quarter. Finally, GYL Financial Synergies LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.4% in the second quarter. GYL Financial Synergies LLC now owns 4,091 shares of the company’s stock worth $316,000 after acquiring an additional 136 shares in the last quarter. 73.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, September 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, August 4th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $91.00 to $105.00 in a research report on Monday, August 3rd. SVB Leerink boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, June 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.08.
In other news, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 18,876 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total value of $1,539,337.80. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 99,639 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,125,560.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total value of $20,360,651.19. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 422,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $34,221,318.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 280,529 shares of company stock worth $22,761,633 in the last quarter. 0.28% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Shares of MRK traded up $0.77 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $79.83. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,541,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,671,660. The firm has a market cap of $201.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.47, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.43. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $65.25 and a 1-year high of $92.64. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. The company has a 50 day moving average of $83.27 and a two-hundred day moving average of $80.42.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.23. The company had revenue of $10.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.52 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 52.94% and a net margin of 22.20%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.30 EPS. As a group, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 15th were issued a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 14th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 47.01%.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
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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