Bruderman Asset Management LLC trimmed its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.6% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 15,282 shares of the company’s stock after selling 914 shares during the quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $860,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Honeywell International Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% during the 3rd quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 633,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,576,000 after purchasing an additional 100,500 shares during the period. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.3% during the 3rd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 524,481 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,582,000 after purchasing an additional 81,290 shares during the period. Train Babcock Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.8% during the 4th quarter. Train Babcock Advisors LLC now owns 10,810 shares of the company’s stock valued at $609,000 after purchasing an additional 1,785 shares during the period. Ascension Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth about $644,000. Finally, Mork Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth about $990,000. Institutional investors own 74.63% of the company’s stock.
In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The firm had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.89 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.52%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 48.24%.
MRK has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. SunTrust Banks upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group set a $56.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 26th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.35.
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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
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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