Atticus Wealth Management LLC reduced its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) by 1.5% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 11,587 shares of the company’s stock after selling 175 shares during the quarter. Atticus Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,056,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. IMS Capital Management lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.1% in the 2nd quarter. IMS Capital Management now owns 16,147 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,472,000 after acquiring an additional 2,704 shares in the last quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.2% in the 2nd quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 397,303 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,222,000 after buying an additional 26,654 shares in the last quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC now owns 768,265 shares of the company’s stock valued at $70,043,000 after purchasing an additional 2,541 shares during the period. Allied Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Allied Investment Advisors LLC now owns 80,484 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,338,000 after acquiring an additional 1,121 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PFG Advisors lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. PFG Advisors now owns 23,439 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,137,000 after acquiring an additional 178 shares during the last quarter. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Erste Group Bank upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Cowen upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Atlantic Securities increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Berenberg Bank raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the company from $95.00 to $100.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Daiwa Capital Markets raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $89.00 to $102.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Seven 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 company currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $98.28.
Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK – Get Rating) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share (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 company had revenue of $14.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.85 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.31 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 EPS for the current year.
Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a $0.69 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.27%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 42.27%.
Merck & Co., Inc. Profile
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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