Iguana Healthcare Management LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 13.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 125,000 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 15,000 shares during the quarter. Merck & comprises 3.9% of Iguana Healthcare Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 6th biggest holding. Iguana Healthcare Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $7,943,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Vigilant Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Merck & by 16.7% during the 1st quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & by 41.3% in the 1st quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 2,306 shares of the company’s stock valued at $147,000 after purchasing an additional 674 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Bank purchased a new position in shares of Merck & in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $152,000. Dillon & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Finally, Stokes & Hubbell Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.02% of the company’s stock.
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Several research analysts have weighed in on MRK shares. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $74.00 target price (up from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 target price on Merck & and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, May 26th. BidaskClub cut Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price target on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.00.
Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded up 0.06% during trading on Friday, reaching $66.16. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 14,685,767 shares. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.29 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $180.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.76 and a beta of 0.81. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $63.41 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.72.
Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.93 EPS. Merck &’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.11%.
Merck & Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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