Meridian Investment Counsel Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.1% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 5,057 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 3 shares during the period. Meridian Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $321,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & by 5.4% during the first quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 446,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,368,000 after buying an additional 22,958 shares in the last quarter. First PREMIER Bank boosted its holdings in Merck & by 2.7% during the first quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 21,475 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,364,000 after buying an additional 570 shares in the last quarter. Agran Libbie lifted its position in shares of Merck & by 83.0% in the 1st quarter. Agran Libbie now owns 11,918 shares of the company’s stock valued at $757,000 after acquiring an additional 5,404 shares in the last quarter. Sfmg LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & by 4.9% in the 1st quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 21,582 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,371,000 after acquiring an additional 1,011 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Doyle Wealth Management purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $4,652,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.02% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded up 0.06% on Friday, hitting $66.16. 14,685,767 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $180.44 billion, a PE ratio of 35.82 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.29 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $63.41 and its 200 day moving average is $63.72.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.84%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is presently 76.11%.
MRK has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “sell” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.00.
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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