Sigma Planning Corp Acquires 2,704 Shares of Merck & Co. (MRK)
Sigma Planning Corp raised its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 7.0% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 41,486 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 2,704 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $2,390,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $239,761,000. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $174,068,000. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 249.7% in the first quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 2,288,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,082,000 after buying an additional 1,634,004 shares in the last quarter. OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the first quarter worth approximately $67,685,000. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in Merck & Co. by 326.5% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,626,461 shares of the company’s stock worth $86,056,000 after buying an additional 1,245,129 shares in the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.18% during trading on Friday, reaching $62.77. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,775,249 shares. The firm has a market cap of $173.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.43 and a beta of 0.68. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $47.97 and a 52 week high of $64.00. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.66 and its 200-day moving average is $58.40.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is presently 101.10%.
MRK has been the subject of a number of research reports. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $62.00 to $72.00 in a report on Friday, August 5th. Jefferies Group reduced their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 price target for the company in a report on Monday, July 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of €63.20 ($70.23).
In related news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total value of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of €61.81 ($68.68), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,921,688.89). Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($52,255,341.52). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. 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, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. 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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