Peak Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor purchased 3,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $325,000.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Joseph P. Lucia & Associates LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the first quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Landmark Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. Front Row Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 89.4% during the fourth quarter. Front Row Advisors LLC now owns 339 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 160 shares during the period. Okabena Investment Services Inc. bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $27,000. Finally, Western Pacific Wealth Management LP bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $29,000. Institutional investors own 73.33% of the company’s stock.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. Mizuho initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, June 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. Atlantic Securities raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Berenberg Bank raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $95.00 to $100.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Erste Group Bank raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $98.28.
Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.45% and a net margin of 29.00%. The business had revenue of $14.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.85 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.31 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 earnings per share for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.69 dividend. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 42.27%.
About Merck & Co., Inc.
Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.
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