Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado decreased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 2,161,776 shares of the company’s stock after selling 19,278 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 1.1% of Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado’s holdings, making the stock its 15th largest position. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado owned approximately 0.08% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $181,265,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. JJJ Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth $27,000. PRW Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth $41,000. Aspire Private Capital LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth $55,000. Thor Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter worth $69,000. Finally, Contravisory Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.7% during the second quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 858 shares of the company’s stock worth $72,000 after acquiring an additional 141 shares during the period. 75.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In related news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at $30,274,512.54. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,783,245.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.94 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.06 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 50.69%.
A number of brokerages recently commented on MRK. Atlantic Securities upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 21st. Bank of America set a $97.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 11th. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $91.07.
Merck & Co., Inc. Profile
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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