C WorldWide Group Holding A S lessened its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.5% during the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 200,817 shares of the company’s stock after selling 7,252 shares during the period. C WorldWide Group Holding A S’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $12,858,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Perennial Advisors LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the 2nd quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares during the period. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $104,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 232 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares during the period. Finally, Barnett & Company Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 481.6% during the 2nd quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. now owns 2,053 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after acquiring an additional 1,700 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s 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 document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative net margin of 0.49% and a negative return on equity of 0.58%. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.27%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 186.41%.
A number of equities research analysts have commented on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Barclays cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $72.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Monday, October 30th. UBS Group decreased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 30th. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.06.
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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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