Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 7,292,315 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 192,007 shares during the quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC owned about 0.27% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $466,927,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of MRK. Oxbow Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% during the first quarter. Oxbow Advisors LLC now owns 11,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $730,000 after buying an additional 1,820 shares during the period. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. now owns 504,510 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,057,000 after purchasing an additional 1,429 shares during the period. Linscomb & Williams Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.5% in the first quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. now owns 71,518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,544,000 after purchasing an additional 5,580 shares during the period. Brookstone Capital Management boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.9% in the first quarter. Brookstone Capital Management now owns 95,442 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,064,000 after purchasing an additional 10,132 shares during the period. Finally, Arete Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.7% in the first quarter. Arete Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 13,682 shares of the company’s stock valued at $869,000 after purchasing an additional 365 shares during the period. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on MRK. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Barclays lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $72.00 to $62.00 in a report on Monday, October 30th. UBS Group decreased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 30th. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded up $1.06 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $58.66. The company had a trading volume of 11,760,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,430,000. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $53.63 and a 1 year high of $66.80. The firm has a market cap of $159,990.00, a PE ratio of 56.95, a PEG ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative return on equity of 0.58% and a negative net margin of 0.49%. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.07 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.27%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 186.41%.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
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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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