Alley Co LLC raised its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 61,252 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 5,827 shares during the period. Merck & accounts for about 1.5% of Alley Co LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 29th largest position. Alley Co LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $3,892,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of MRK. Vigilant Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 during the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 shares of Merck & during the first quarter valued at approximately $152,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $159,000. 73.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at 61.49 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $167.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.29 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $62.91 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.83.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 EPS. Merck &’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is 76.11%.
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MRK has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. Vetr lowered Merck & from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.99 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price target on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price target on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target 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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