Colonial Trust Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund acquired 6,585 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $371,000.
Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Santori & Peters Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth $110,000. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors raised its holdings in Merck & Co. by 79.3% during the fourth quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors now owns 2,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after purchasing an additional 920 shares during the last quarter. Avestar Capital LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth $130,000. WealthTrust Arizona LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 103.7% during the fourth quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 1,270 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth $156,000. 74.87% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group set a $55.00 price target on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. DZ Bank raised Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Merck & Co. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on Merck & Co. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, February 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.87.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $10.04 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.09 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 30.93% and a net margin of 4.31%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.88 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post 4.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 24,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction on Monday, April 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $1,392,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 9,972 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.66, for a total value of $594,929.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.
About Merck & Co.
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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