First Merchants Corp Acquires 130 Shares of Merck & Co. (MRK)
First Merchants Corp increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 8,219 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 130 shares during the period. First Merchants Corp’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $474,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Accredited Investors Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 9,125 shares of the company’s stock valued at $483,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the period. Thomaspartners Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. now owns 9,024 shares of the company’s stock valued at $477,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.8% in the first quarter. Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management now owns 4,738 shares of the company’s stock valued at $250,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the period. NorthRock Partners LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.2% in the first quarter. NorthRock Partners LLC now owns 3,862 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Finally, Cornerstone Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.9% in the second quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 4,849 shares of the company’s stock valued at $279,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 1.00% during trading on Monday, hitting $61.52. The stock had a trading volume of 13,054,599 shares. The firm has a market cap of $170.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.75 and a beta of 0.68. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $62.53 and its 200 day moving average is $58.84. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $47.97 and a 52-week high of $64.86.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS 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 firm had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.86 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.99%. Merck & Co.’s payout ratio is 101.10%.
MRK has been the topic of several research reports. Bank of America Corp. raised Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Thursday. Berenberg Bank reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Sunday. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. Thirteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €65.58 ($72.06).
In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.21), for a total transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,782,918.68). Following the transaction, the insider now owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,797,092.43). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of €61.81 ($67.92), for a total value of €24,229,520.00 ($26,625,846.15). Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 760,877 shares in the company, valued at approximately €47,029,807.37 ($51,681,107). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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