Barr E S & Co. cut its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.3% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 6,575 shares of the company’s stock after selling 296 shares during the period. Barr E S & Co.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $494,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. PARK CIRCLE Co grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 100.0% in the second quarter. PARK CIRCLE Co now owns 400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the period. Macroview Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 47.4% in the third quarter. Macroview Investment Management LLC now owns 426 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 137 shares in the last quarter. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter worth $37,000. Monumental Financial Group Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter worth $44,000. Finally, Strategic Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the third quarter worth $44,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.43% of the company’s stock.
In related news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 24,619 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.32, for a total transaction of $2,149,731.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.45, for a total value of $2,211,250.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 936,784 shares of company stock valued at $78,682,559. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 27th. The company reported $1.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.55 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.21% and a net margin of 14.64%. The company had revenue of $13.15 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.32 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.74 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 7th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, December 15th were issued a $0.69 dividend. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 97.53%.
MRK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Mizuho initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, December 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $100.00 price objective on the stock. Daiwa Capital Markets assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, December 16th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 price target on the stock. Truist Securities upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 24th. Truist upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 24th. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, December 17th. They issued a “conviction-buy” rating and a $93.00 price objective for the company. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $91.65.
Merck & Co., Inc. Profile
Merck & Co, Inc engages in the provision of health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. It operates through the following segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, and Other. The Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products.
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