Machina Capital S.A.S. Invests $1.67 Million in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Machina Capital S.A.S. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor acquired 18,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,673,000. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for approximately 0.7% of Machina Capital S.A.S.’s holdings, making the stock its 26th biggest holding.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Pacifica Partners Inc. bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth $35,000. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth $60,000. 1 North Wealth Services LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the third quarter worth $58,000. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 23.3% during the third quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 793 shares of the company’s stock worth $67,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wealthcare Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 77.1% during the fourth quarter. Wealthcare Capital Management LLC now owns 806 shares of the company’s stock worth $73,000 after acquiring an additional 351 shares in the last quarter. 74.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $0.19 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $82.46. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 633,234 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,723,226. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $72.23 and a one year high of $92.64. The company has a market capitalization of $210.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.64, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.58. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $87.98 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $86.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a current ratio of 1.26.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.16 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.15 by $0.01. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.01% and a return on equity of 48.76%. The company had revenue of $11.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.71 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.04 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.72 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 7th. Investors of record on Monday, March 16th will be given a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 47.01%.

In related news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.27% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, February 5th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 13th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and issued a $92.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, February 6th. Finally, UBS Group dropped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $99.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $95.75.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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