Prudential Financial Inc. Trims Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Prudential Financial Inc. cut its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.1% during the third quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 5,251,998 shares of the company’s stock after selling 169,240 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 0.6% of Prudential Financial Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 29th largest holding. Prudential Financial Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $336,285,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Stoneridge Investment Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $9,448,000. Smith Moore & CO. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 50.5% in the 3rd quarter. Smith Moore & CO. now owns 8,918 shares of the company’s stock valued at $571,000 after purchasing an additional 2,993 shares during the last quarter. Becker Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. Becker Capital Management Inc. now owns 577,663 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,988,000 after purchasing an additional 9,275 shares during the last quarter. Bristol Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $243,000. Finally, Lincluden Management Ltd. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 133.3% in the 3rd quarter. Lincluden Management Ltd. now owns 57,585 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,687,000 after purchasing an additional 32,905 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $56.66 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16. The company has a market cap of $154,530.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 55.01, a P/E/G ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $53.63 and a 52-week high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative net margin of 0.49% and a negative return on equity of 0.58%. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.39%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of brokerages have commented on MRK. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price objective on the stock. Deutsche Bank dropped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $62.00 to $59.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.29.

In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

WARNING: This piece was first published by Community Financial News and is the property of of Community Financial News. If you are viewing this piece on another site, it was stolen and republished in violation of U.S. & international copyright & trademark legislation. The legal version of this piece can be viewed at https://www.com-unik.info/2018/01/09/prudential-financial-inc-trims-holdings-in-merck-co-inc-mrk.html.

Merck & Co., Inc. 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. 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.

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.

Comments

Leave a Reply


share news on Facebook
tweet this investment news
share on linkedin
share on StockTwits
share on Google Plus
share on reddit