Peak Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) during the 2nd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund acquired 3,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $325,000.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Joseph P. Lucia & Associates LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. Landmark Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. Front Row Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 89.4% in the 4th quarter. Front Row Advisors LLC now owns 339 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after acquiring an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. Okabena Investment Services Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $27,000. Finally, Western Pacific Wealth Management LP bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $29,000. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on MRK. SVB Leerink boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $109.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, September 12th. Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $95.00 to $100.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Mizuho began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, June 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. UBS Group lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $76.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $98.28.
Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Up 3.5 %
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $14.59 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.85 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 29.00% and a return on equity of 48.45%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.31 EPS. Analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 EPS for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.69 dividend. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 42.27%.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
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, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.
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