Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Plans $0.55 Quarterly Dividend

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) declared a quarterly dividend on Tuesday, May 28th, RTT News reports. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 17th will be given a dividend of 0.55 per share on Monday, July 8th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 14th.

Merck & Co., Inc. has increased its dividend payment by an average of 2.2% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 7 consecutive years. Merck & Co., Inc. has a dividend payout ratio of 51.5% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect Merck & Co., Inc. to earn $5.21 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $2.20 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 42.2%.

MRK stock opened at $83.71 on Thursday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $59.80 and a 1-year high of $84.27. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The company has a market capitalization of $213.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.55.



Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by $0.17. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 39.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The company had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.45 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.05 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 192,736 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.05, for a total value of $15,813,988.80. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 990,451 shares in the company, valued at $81,266,504.55. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert M. Davis sold 192,572 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.38, for a total transaction of $15,864,081.36. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 330,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $27,204,512.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 445,308 shares of company stock valued at $36,421,320. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Horizon Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 22.7% in the first quarter. Horizon Investments LLC now owns 47,938 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,987,000 after purchasing an additional 8,865 shares in the last quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.2% in the first quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 30,747 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,557,000 after purchasing an additional 653 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.2% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 11,111,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $924,139,000 after purchasing an additional 3,244,078 shares in the last quarter. BTC Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.1% in the first quarter. BTC Capital Management Inc. now owns 55,755 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,636,000 after purchasing an additional 3,202 shares in the last quarter. Finally, V Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.9% in the first quarter. V Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 6,310 shares of the company’s stock worth $472,000 after purchasing an additional 865 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.17% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. Argus lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Cantor Fitzgerald started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, February 22nd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $95.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $83.08.

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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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Dividend History for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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