Eaton Vance Management boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 2,501,733 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,874 shares during the period. Eaton Vance Management owned approximately 0.09% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $160,336,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 40.4% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,012,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $513,535,000 after buying an additional 2,304,142 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 70.4% during the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 5,568,791 shares of the company’s stock worth $353,841,000 after buying an additional 2,300,200 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 23.7% during the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 8,146,594 shares of the company’s stock worth $517,635,000 after buying an additional 1,561,853 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter worth $94,200,000. Finally, Independent Franchise Partners LLP boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.4% during the second quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP now owns 9,250,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $592,852,000 after buying an additional 1,020,630 shares in the last quarter. 73.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded down $0.45 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $55.77. 11,837,100 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,650,887. The stock has a market cap of $148,010.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.45, a P/E/G ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $53.63 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 27.08%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.07 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.44%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 182.52%.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
A number of analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. BidaskClub cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Jefferies Group restated a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $75.00 to $74.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 30th. Finally, Leerink Swann reduced their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.29.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. 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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