Garrett Wealth Advisory Group LLC trimmed its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.8% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 3,046 shares of the company’s stock after selling 120 shares during the period. Garrett Wealth Advisory Group LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $278,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Hoover Financial Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.9% during the 4th quarter. Hoover Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 9,488 shares of the company’s stock valued at $863,000 after acquiring an additional 355 shares in the last quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 74.3% in the 4th quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt now owns 89,843 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,171,000 after purchasing an additional 38,300 shares in the last quarter. DT Investment Partners LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth approximately $4,632,000. M&G Investment Management Ltd. purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth approximately $50,755,000. Finally, Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.4% during the 4th quarter. Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC now owns 11,354 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,033,000 after purchasing an additional 878 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.52% of the company’s stock.
In related news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.16% and a net margin of 20.26%. The company had revenue of $12.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.59 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.19 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 16th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 13th. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.80%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 56.22%.
A number of research firms have recently issued reports on MRK. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 14th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. UBS Group boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $94.00 to $99.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, January 6th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $99.00 target price for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $96.38.
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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