Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC reduced its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.2% during the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 40,337 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,781 shares during the quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,382,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Lowe Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.0% in the second quarter. Lowe Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,396 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Capital Financial Planning LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $149,000. Apriem Advisors boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Apriem Advisors now owns 11,321 shares of the company’s stock valued at $865,000 after acquiring an additional 245 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.1% in the first quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 7,215,955 shares of the company’s stock valued at $600,146,000 after acquiring an additional 81,852 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Greenleaf Trust boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.2% in the second quarter. Greenleaf Trust now owns 44,383 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,722,000 after acquiring an additional 1,371 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.34% of the company’s stock.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 103,223 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.94 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.69%.
Several analysts recently commented on MRK shares. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, May 28th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 21st. Bank of America set a $97.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 11th. ValuEngine cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $97.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, August 5th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $91.07.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.
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