First Financial Bank Trust Division reduced its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.3% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 109,126 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,469 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 1.4% of First Financial Bank Trust Division’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest holding. First Financial Bank Trust Division’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $9,076,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 17,936.7% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 53,150,490 shares of the company’s stock valued at $696,000 after purchasing an additional 52,855,811 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth $2,166,688,000. Jennison Associates LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 323.1% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 15,777,286 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,205,542,000 after purchasing an additional 12,048,406 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 194,589,541 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,868,587,000 after purchasing an additional 10,315,510 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,596,161,000 after purchasing an additional 3,219,877 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.17% of the company’s stock.
In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 192,736 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.05, for a total value of $15,813,988.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 990,451 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $81,266,504.55. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. acquired 4,121,683 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 8th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $16.00 per share, with a total value of $65,946,928.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 445,308 shares of company stock valued at $36,421,320. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.
NYSE MRK opened at $83.71 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $213.61 billion, a PE ratio of 19.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.37 and a quick ratio of 1.06. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $59.80 and a twelve month high of $84.27.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.45 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 39.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.05 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 17th will be paid a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 50.69%.
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Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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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