Doliver Capital Advisors LP purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm purchased 3,509 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $225,000.
A number of other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in MRK. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after buying an additional 3,312,459 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,856,484,000 after buying an additional 1,834,500 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,019,572 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,731,684,000 after buying an additional 801,033 shares during the period. Boston Partners increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 18,730,874 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,199,338,000 after buying an additional 145,744 shares during the period. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,564,388 shares of the company’s stock worth $933,445,000 after buying an additional 192,348 shares during the period. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping 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 analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were given a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.35%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 186.41%.
Several research firms have weighed in on MRK. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. TheStreet cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Bank of America began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank lowered their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $62.00 to $59.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.29.
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.
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