Capital Bank & Trust Co lessened its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.6% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 523,675 shares of the company’s stock after selling 8,562 shares during the quarter. Capital Bank & Trust Co’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $47,628,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Pacifica Partners Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $35,000. Lloyd Advisory Services LLC. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth about $42,000. Moser Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth about $59,000. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at about $60,000. Finally, Permanens Capital L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $66,000. 75.74% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, February 5th. Argus reduced their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $95.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, January 8th. Barclays initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, February 27th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $93.00 price target for the company. Finally, UBS Group dropped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $99.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $94.50.
Shares of NYSE MRK traded up $2.35 on Thursday, reaching $70.57. 488,734 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 18,445,974. The stock has a market capitalization of $175.13 billion, a PE ratio of 18.52, a P/E/G ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.69. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $65.25 and a fifty-two week high of $92.64. The company has a current ratio of 1.24, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87. The company has a 50 day moving average of $79.60 and a 200 day moving average of $84.79.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.15 by $0.01. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.01% and a return on equity of 49.41%. The firm had revenue of $11.87 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.71 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.04 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.72 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 13th. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.46%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 47.01%.
In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on 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 in the company, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. 0.27% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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