Columbia Asset Management cut its position in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.4% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 155,869 shares of the company’s stock after selling 646 shares during the quarter. Merck & makes up about 3.3% of Columbia Asset Management’s holdings, making the stock its 2nd biggest position. Columbia Asset Management’s holdings in Merck & were worth $9,903,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Investec Asset Management LTD boosted its holdings in Merck & by 8.0% during the first quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 125,719 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,988,000 after purchasing an additional 9,266 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & by 0.4% during the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 9,821,563 shares of the company’s stock worth $624,064,000 after purchasing an additional 41,748 shares during the last quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & by 59.5% during the first quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC now owns 5,465 shares of the company’s stock worth $347,000 after purchasing an additional 2,039 shares during the last quarter. SNS Financial Group LLC purchased a new position in Merck & during the first quarter worth about $561,000. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd boosted its holdings in Merck & by 2,202.7% during the first quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 88,101 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,498,000 after purchasing an additional 84,275 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.91% of the company’s stock.
Several research firms recently weighed in on MRK. BMO Capital Markets restated an “outperform” rating and set a $73.00 price target (down from $74.00) on shares of Merck & in a report on Monday, July 24th. BidaskClub cut shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. HSBC Holdings plc upgraded shares of Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, June 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.00.
Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 65.13 on Friday. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12-month low of $58.29 and a 12-month high of $66.80. The company’s 50 day moving average is $63.52 and its 200 day moving average is $63.68. The company has a market cap of $177.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.26 and a beta of 0.81.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.93 earnings per share. Merck &’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 76.11%.
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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