Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. trimmed its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Free Report) by 1.6% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 193,447 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,082 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for approximately 2.8% of Richard C. Young & CO. LTD.’s portfolio, making the stock its 4th largest holding. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $20,581,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Kepos Capital LP acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth approximately $36,000. Ruedi Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $39,000. Horizon Bancorp Inc. IN acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $49,000. Kalos Management Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $64,000. Finally, Financial Connections Group Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 47.1% during the 4th quarter. Financial Connections Group Inc. now owns 718 shares of the company’s stock valued at $79,000 after purchasing an additional 230 shares during the period. 74.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Up 0.4 %
Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $0.40 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $109.38. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,825,432 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,688,446. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $108.94 and its 200 day moving average is $110.39. The company has a market cap of $277.55 billion, a PE ratio of 89.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.30 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.28 and a quick ratio of 1.03. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $84.52 and a 52-week high of $119.65.
Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.73 dividend. This represents a $2.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 239.34%.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
MRK has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $102.00 to $113.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $135.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. StockNews.com cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $109.00 to $116.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, HSBC initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, July 14th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $123.00 price target for the company. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $124.74.
Insiders Place Their Bets
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 4,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.49, for a total value of $474,705.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,185 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,867,745.65. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.
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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