Sage Capital Advisors llc Takes Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Sage Capital Advisors llc acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor acquired 8,391 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $538,000.

Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% during the second quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 232 shares in the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter worth $127,000. 73.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

MRK has been the topic of several research analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $75.00 to $74.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 30th. Finally, Leerink Swann cut their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.

Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) traded down $1.42 on Wednesday, reaching $54.35. 20,243,713 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,695,960. The firm has a market capitalization of $148,010.00, a P/E ratio of 14.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $53.63 and a 1 year high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 27.08%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. 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 $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.53%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 182.52%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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