Agur Provident & Training Funds Management Ltd. reduced its stake in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 46.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 27,619 shares of the company’s stock after selling 23,815 shares during the period. Merck & accounts for approximately 2.3% of Agur Provident & Training Funds Management Ltd.’s portfolio, making the stock its 15th largest position. Agur Provident & Training Funds Management Ltd.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $1,755,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Vigilant Capital Management LLC increased its position in Merck & by 16.7% in the first quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC boosted its stake in Merck & by 41.3% in the first quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 2,306 shares of the company’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 674 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Bank purchased a new stake in Merck & during the first quarter valued at about $152,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & by 50.6% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 2,678 shares of the company’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Merck & during the fourth quarter valued at about $159,000. 73.46% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at 61.49 on Friday. Merck & Company, Inc. has a one year low of $58.29 and a one year high of $66.80. The company has a 50 day moving average of $62.91 and a 200-day moving average of $63.83. The firm has a market cap of $167.71 billion, a PE ratio of 33.29 and a beta of 0.80.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The business’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 76.11%.
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Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. BidaskClub cut shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. BMO Capital Markets restated an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research report on Sunday, April 23rd. Vetr cut shares of Merck & from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.99 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.58.
About Merck &
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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