Insider Selling: Merck & Co. (MRK) Chairman Sells €9,104,200.00 in Stock
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 140,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of €65.03 ($69.92), for a total value of €9,104,200.00 ($9,789,462.37). Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 514,957 shares in the company, valued at approximately €33,487,653.71 ($36,008,229.80). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 63.53 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $61.69 and its 200 day moving average price is $59.50. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $47.97 and a 12 month high of $65.46. The stock has a market capitalization of $175.16 billion, a PE ratio of 32.45 and a beta of 0.76.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.08. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.25% and a net margin of 13.76%. The company had revenue of $10.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.96 EPS. Merck & Co.’s revenue was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Solaris Asset Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 3.8% in the third quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,635 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 5.9% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc increased its position in Merck & Co. by 124.7% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 1,802 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Blume Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 14.0% in the third quarter. Blume Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,710 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 210 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the second quarter worth approximately $115,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.24% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. BMO Capital Markets lowered Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research note on Sunday, August 7th. Jefferies Group lifted their target price on Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $62.00 target price (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of €66.71 ($71.73).
About Merck & Co.
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. 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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