Suncoast Equity Management Increases Stock Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Suncoast Equity Management raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 7.5% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 177,881 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 12,388 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 2.8% of Suncoast Equity Management’s holdings, making the stock its 17th biggest position. Suncoast Equity Management’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $23,471,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $3,108,366,000. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.7% in the third quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 82,442,666 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,487,472,000 after acquiring an additional 5,196,914 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 36,682,866 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,966,029,000 after acquiring an additional 4,731,152 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 352.2% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 3,144,632 shares of the company’s stock valued at $342,814,000 after acquiring an additional 2,449,211 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 29,914.1% in the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 2,410,732 shares of the company’s stock valued at $262,818,000 after acquiring an additional 2,402,700 shares during the period. 76.07% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Berenberg Bank increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $140.00 to $143.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. Argus raised Merck & Co., Inc. to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 5th. Wells Fargo & Company increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $155.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, June 18th. Finally, Truist Financial increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $142.00 to $143.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $133.00.

Get Our Latest Analysis on Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Up 0.2 %

NYSE:MRK opened at $126.08 on Wednesday. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $128.99 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $125.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $319.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 140.09, a PEG ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 1.25. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $99.14 and a 1 year high of $134.63.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $2.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.94 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $15.78 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.21 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 14.05% and a net margin of 3.76%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.40 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 17th were given a $0.77 dividend. This represents a $3.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.44%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 17th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 342.22%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

(Free Report)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes under the Keytruda, Bridion, Adempas, Lagevrio, Belsomra, Simponi, and Januvia brands, as well as vaccine products consisting of preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines under the Gardasil/Gardasil 9, ProQuad, M-M-R II, Varivax, RotaTeq, Live Oral, Vaxneuvance, Pneumovax 23, and Vaqta names.

Further Reading

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

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