DAVENPORT & Co LLC cut its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.8% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 843,132 shares of the company’s stock after selling 32,889 shares during the period. DAVENPORT & Co LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $69,938,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Toth Financial Advisory Corp bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $32,000. Lake Point Wealth Management increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 159.0% in the 1st quarter. Lake Point Wealth Management now owns 518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,000 after purchasing an additional 318 shares during the last quarter. Provident Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at $43,000. Estate Counselors LLC bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $45,000. Finally, Watson Rebecca bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $48,000. Institutional investors own 73.18% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on MRK shares. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, August 4th. SVB Leerink boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 25th. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 1st. Berenberg Bank began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, September 29th. They set a “hold” rating and a $88.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.08.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.23. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 52.94% and a net margin of 22.20%. The firm had revenue of $10.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.52 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.30 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 15th were given a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 14th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 47.01%.
In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total value of $20,360,651.19. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 422,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $34,221,318.87. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 10,380 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.01, for a total value of $861,643.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 280,529 shares of company stock worth $22,761,633 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.
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