Brown Advisory Securities LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.6% in the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 91,541 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 4,832 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 1.3% of Brown Advisory Securities LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 16th largest holding. Brown Advisory Securities LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $5,865,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Hanson McClain Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 65.0% in the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 7,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $491,000 after acquiring an additional 3,019 shares in the last quarter. Honeywell International Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% in the third quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 633,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $40,576,000 after acquiring an additional 100,500 shares in the last quarter. Trust Co raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.8% in the first quarter. Trust Co now owns 68,789 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,371,000 after acquiring an additional 1,852 shares in the last quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.5% in the second quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC now owns 44,558 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,856,000 after acquiring an additional 3,861 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Crescent Grove Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at $1,092,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.63% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $57.30 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $53.63 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $156,280.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 55.63, a P/E/G ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.35%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 186.41%.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several research firms have weighed in on MRK. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Leerink Swann upped their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, October 20th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $72.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.29.
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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.
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