Puzo Michael J cut its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.0% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 24,000 shares of the company’s stock after selling 732 shares during the period. Puzo Michael J’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,183,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6,517.4% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 24,307,332 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,038,169,000 after acquiring an additional 23,940,007 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 191,863,408 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,087,745,000 after purchasing an additional 4,397,580 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 67.7% during the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 6,381,329 shares of the company’s stock valued at $535,075,000 after purchasing an additional 2,576,060 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.4% during the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 11,661,412 shares of the company’s stock valued at $977,809,000 after purchasing an additional 1,972,587 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Natixis acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $158,275,000. Institutional investors own 74.50% of the company’s stock.
In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total value of $9,119,201.82. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. The firm had revenue of $12.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.16% and a net margin of 20.26%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.19 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.15 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.67%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 56.22%.
A number of brokerages have issued reports on MRK. Bank of America started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $99.00 price target for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 10th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, January 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.69.
Merck & Co., Inc. 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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