Meridian Investment Counsel Inc. cut its stake in shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) by 5.3% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 24,629 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,387 shares during the period. Johnson & Johnson makes up about 1.9% of Meridian Investment Counsel Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 7th largest position. Meridian Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Johnson & Johnson were worth $2,838,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. purchased a new position in shares of Johnson & Johnson during the third quarter worth $104,000. Hefty Wealth Partners raised its position in shares of Johnson & Johnson by 559.4% in the third quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 1,121 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 951 shares during the last quarter. Wechter Feldman Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Johnson & Johnson during the fourth quarter worth $209,000. New Capital Management LP purchased a new position in shares of Johnson & Johnson during the fourth quarter worth $214,000. Finally, Turner Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Johnson & Johnson during the fourth quarter worth $218,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.30% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) opened at 128.07 on Tuesday. Johnson & Johnson has a 52 week low of $106.36 and a 52 week high of $129.00. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $119.96 and a 200 day moving average price of $117.07. The company has a market cap of $347.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.59 and a beta of 0.74.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 24th. The company reported $1.58 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.02. The company earned $18.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.28 billion. Johnson & Johnson had a net margin of 22.78% and a return on equity of 25.61%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.44 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Johnson & Johnson will post $7.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 14th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 28th were given a $0.80 dividend. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.50%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 24th. Johnson & Johnson’s dividend payout ratio is 54.42%.

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A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on JNJ. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $132.00 target price (up from $125.00) on shares of Johnson & Johnson in a research report on Saturday, March 11th. Vetr lowered Johnson & Johnson from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $119.73 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, March 7th. Wells Fargo & Co lowered Johnson & Johnson from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $112.28 to $112.80 in a research report on Thursday, January 26th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their target price on Johnson & Johnson from $133.00 to $128.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc lowered their target price on Johnson & Johnson from $120.00 to $115.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $124.09.

In other Johnson & Johnson news, VP Paulus Stoffels sold 22,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.29, for a total value of $2,580,380.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 127,650 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,972,068.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

About Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is a holding company, which is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of a range of products in the healthcare field. The Company’s segments include Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices. The Consumer segment includes a range of products used in the baby care, oral care, skin care, over-the-counter pharmaceutical, women’s health and wound care markets.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:JNJ

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