Schnieders Capital Management LLC lessened its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 7.0% in the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 10,644 shares of the company’s stock after selling 802 shares during the quarter. Schnieders Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $646,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Taylor Wealth Management Partners purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after acquiring an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at about $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 208.4% during the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 1,340 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Well Done LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at about $115,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.18% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $69.81 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $52.83 and a 12-month high of $72.89. The stock has a market cap of $191.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.54, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.33.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th were paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.75%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.
In related news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 29,208 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.20, for a total value of $1,904,361.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 70,675 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,608,010. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares in the company, valued at $7,018,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 929,360 shares of company stock worth $64,370,599 over the last ninety days. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on MRK shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, June 18th. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 15th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Bank of America raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $69.61.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.
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