Investment Counsel Inc. trimmed its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 18.1% in the first quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 31,206 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,879 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises approximately 1.7% of Investment Counsel Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 19th biggest position. Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,406,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Catalyst Private Wealth LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $25,000. Financial Avengers Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Joseph P. Lucia & Associates LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Flagship Private Wealth LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $27,000. Finally, Veritas Investment Partners UK Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $30,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.86% of the company’s stock.
Shares of MRK stock traded up $0.14 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $76.45. 321,899 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,741,178. The company has a current ratio of 1.30, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $71.71 and a 12-month high of $87.80. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $75.40 and its 200-day simple moving average is $78.95. The company has a market capitalization of $193.45 billion, a PE ratio of 16.88, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.43.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 3rd. The company reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.38 by ($0.06). Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 53.83% and a net margin of 24.33%. The firm had revenue of $12.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.65 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.16 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.65 per share. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.40%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 12th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 50.10%.
Separately, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, February 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $95.92.
Merck & Co., Inc. Profile
Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health segments. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, diabetes, and women's health, as well as and vaccine products.
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