New Hampshire Trust trimmed its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Free Report) by 2.3% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 49,820 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,156 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 1.5% of New Hampshire Trust’s portfolio, making the stock its 11th largest holding. New Hampshire Trust’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $5,749,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cantor Fitzgerald Investment Advisor L.P boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 94.2% in the first quarter. Cantor Fitzgerald Investment Advisor L.P now owns 349,588 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,683,000 after purchasing an additional 169,536 shares in the last quarter. BCK Partners Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the first quarter valued at approximately $2,423,000. NewEdge Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% in the first quarter. NewEdge Advisors LLC now owns 159,225 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,064,000 after purchasing an additional 9,376 shares in the last quarter. First Western Trust Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the first quarter valued at approximately $1,078,000. Finally, Equitable Holdings Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.9% in the first quarter. Equitable Holdings Inc. now owns 36,124 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,964,000 after acquiring an additional 4,131 shares during the period. 74.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Up 0.3 %
NYSE:MRK opened at $107.82 on Tuesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $84.52 and a 1 year high of $119.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $273.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 88.38, a PEG ratio of 4.24 and a beta of 0.33. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $107.87 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $110.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.28.
Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.73 dividend. This represents a $2.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 239.34%.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Truist Financial increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $116.00 to $122.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. StockNews.com downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 31st. TheStreet cut Merck & Co., Inc. from an “a-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, HSBC began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, July 14th. They set a “hold” rating and a $123.00 price target for the company. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $124.74.
In other news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 4,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.49, for a total value of $474,705.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 27,185 shares in the company, valued at $2,867,745.65. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.
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