Princeton Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 23.4% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 7,393 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares during the period. Princeton Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $473,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Hanson McClain Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 65.0% during the 2nd quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 7,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $491,000 after purchasing an additional 3,019 shares in the last quarter. Honeywell International Inc. lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% during the 3rd quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 633,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,576,000 after acquiring an additional 100,500 shares during the period. Trust Co lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.8% during the 1st quarter. Trust Co now owns 68,789 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,371,000 after acquiring an additional 1,852 shares during the period. Hartland & Co. LLC lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.5% during the 2nd quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC now owns 44,558 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,856,000 after acquiring an additional 3,861 shares during the period. Finally, Crescent Grove Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,092,000. 73.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $57.30 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. The stock has a market cap of $156,280.00, a PE ratio of 55.63, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $53.63 and a twelve month high of $66.80.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.35%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 186.41%.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
A number of research 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 company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann lowered their price target 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. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Citigroup raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. 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. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average 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 Merck & Co., Inc. 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 legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 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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