First American Bank Sells 25,365 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)
First American Bank lessened its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 17.8% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 117,236 shares of the company’s stock after selling 25,365 shares during the quarter. First American Bank’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $6,596,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $104,000. NewSquare Capital LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 728.3% during the 3rd quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 13,014 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 103.7% during the 4th quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,270 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Risk Paradigm Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 748.1% during the 2nd quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC now owns 2,256 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after purchasing an additional 1,990 shares in the last quarter. 72.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $54.36 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.16. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $53.12 and a 52-week high of $66.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $144,785.41, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 0.81.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.53%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 206.45%.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
MRK has been the topic of several recent research reports. Cowen reissued a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Deutsche Bank cut their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $62.00 to $59.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Bank of America began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 target price for the company. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Monday, November 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.41.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. 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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