Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) EVP Sells $1,833,624.00 in Stock

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 25,467 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.00, for a total transaction of $1,833,624.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 82,135 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,913,720. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $72.27 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $194.85 billion, a PE ratio of 18.16, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $74.49.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $10.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.87 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.20%. As a group, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 17th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.04%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.24%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 185,546,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,262,699,000 after buying an additional 831,243 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,653,047 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,346,241,000 after buying an additional 3,242,430 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 15,905,834 shares of the company’s stock valued at $965,485,000 after buying an additional 149,438 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.5% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 14,733,548 shares of the company’s stock valued at $894,326,000 after buying an additional 2,406,836 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.8% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,486,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $757,959,000 after buying an additional 3,682,328 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.33% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have weighed in on MRK. Citigroup lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, October 22nd. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, SunTrust Banks lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 29th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $71.92.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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