MSI Financial Services Inc Raises Stake in Merck & Co. (MRK)
MSI Financial Services Inc boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.4% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 107,217 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 10,088 shares during the period. MSI Financial Services Inc’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $6,177,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $115,000. Lowe fs LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.8% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 2,619 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 46 shares in the last quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 3.1% in the second quarter. JNBA Financial Advisors now owns 3,012 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,000 after buying an additional 91 shares in the last quarter. Keel Point LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth $204,000. Finally, NorthRock Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.2% in the first quarter. NorthRock Partners LLC now owns 3,862 shares of the company’s stock worth $206,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.44% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.66. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,116,166 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $62.63 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.58. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86. The company has a market capitalization of $170.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.82 and a beta of 0.68.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. Merck & Co.’s revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed 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. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.98%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 101.10%.
MRK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $62.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Jefferies Group lowered their target price on Merck & Co. from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 target price on Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Merck & Co. from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.26 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, July 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €63.80 ($70.89).
In other news, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total transaction of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on 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 sale, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, 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.
About Merck & Co.
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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