Merck & Co. (MRK) Stake Boosted by Eaton Vance Management
Eaton Vance Management increased its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 18.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,884,551 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 454,399 shares during the period. Eaton Vance Management owned about 0.10% of Merck & Co. worth $166,179,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Centre Asset Management LLC raised its position in Merck & Co. by 524.2% in the first quarter. Centre Asset Management LLC now owns 76,340 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,039,000 after buying an additional 64,110 shares in the last quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 29.9% in the first quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. now owns 28,305 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,498,000 after buying an additional 6,509 shares during the last quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 4.4% in the first quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 41,326 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,187,000 after buying an additional 1,725 shares during the last quarter. Godsey & Gibb Associates increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.2% in the first quarter. Godsey & Gibb Associates now owns 220,556 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,670,000 after buying an additional 2,591 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CIBC World Markets Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co. by 12.5% in the first quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 145,507 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,699,000 after buying an additional 16,115 shares during the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 62.09 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $62.50 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.90. Merck & Co. has a one year low of $47.97 and a one year high of $64.86. The stock has a market capitalization of $171.69 billion, a PE ratio of 34.06 and a beta of 0.68.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted 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 firm had revenue of $9.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 13.01%. Merck & Co.’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 101.10%.
Several research firms recently commented on MRK. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective (up from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, August 8th. Vetr downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, October 10th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a report on Thursday, October 13th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective (down from $57.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday, September 12th. Thirteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of €65.58 ($72.06).
In other Merck & Co. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 392,000 shares of the firm’s 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 sale, the chairman now directly owns 760,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at €47,029,807.37 ($51,681,107). The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.21), for a total value of €2,532,456.00 ($2,782,918.68). Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at €8,005,354.11 ($8,797,092.43). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate 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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