Lourd Capital LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 44.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 5,689 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,754 shares during the period. Lourd Capital LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $361,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Employees Retirement System of Texas boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 581,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $34,256,000 after buying an additional 22,200 shares during the last quarter. Cim Investment Mangement Inc. boosted its position in Merck & by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Cim Investment Mangement Inc. now owns 20,771 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,223,000 after buying an additional 221 shares in the last quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. purchased a new position in Merck & during the fourth quarter worth approximately $4,426,000. Charlemagne Capital Ltd. boosted its position in Merck & by 26.1% in the fourth quarter. Charlemagne Capital Ltd. now owns 5,412 shares of the company’s stock worth $318,000 after buying an additional 1,120 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Diligent Investors LLC purchased a new position in Merck & during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,720,000. Institutional investors own 73.46% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.32% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $62.70. 6,061,224 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $63.16 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.86. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.29 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $171.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.95 and a beta of 0.80.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.93 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 76.11%.
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MRK has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 10th. Vetr cut shares of Merck & from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.99 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.58.
Merck & Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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