Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Position Cut by Highland Capital Management LLC

Highland Capital Management LLC reduced its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 4.0% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 358,024 shares of the company’s stock after selling 15,071 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 2.3% of Highland Capital Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 4th biggest holding. Highland Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $32,641,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Joseph P. Lucia & Associates LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Landmark Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Front Row Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 89.4% in the 4th quarter. Front Row Advisors LLC now owns 339 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. Okabena Investment Services Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Finally, Western Pacific Wealth Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $29,000. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

Several analysts have recently commented on the company. Cowen raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, June 27th. Daiwa Capital Markets raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $89.00 to $102.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Erste Group Bank raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Atlantic Securities raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Cowen raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, June 27th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $98.28.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

NYSE MRK opened at $87.51 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $71.50 and a fifty-two week high of $95.72. The stock has a market cap of $221.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.33. The business has a fifty day moving average of $88.83 and a 200-day moving average of $87.81. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share for the quarter, topping 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.85 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.31 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders 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 dividend yield of 3.15%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.27%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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.

See Also

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

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