Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) Holdings Reduced by Welch & Forbes LLC

Welch & Forbes LLC reduced its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 542,728 shares of the company’s stock after selling 7,664 shares during the quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $34,783,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Hexavest Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 4.9% during the first quarter. Hexavest Inc. now owns 1,560,798 shares of the company’s stock valued at $99,173,000 after acquiring an additional 73,342 shares during the period. Stewart & Patten Co. LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 4.1% during the first quarter. Stewart & Patten Co. LLC now owns 7,767 shares of the company’s stock valued at $494,000 after acquiring an additional 304 shares during the period. Retirement Systems of Alabama lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 1.2% during the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 1,710,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,676,000 after acquiring an additional 20,348 shares during the period. OLD Point Trust & Financial Services N A lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 1.0% during the first quarter. OLD Point Trust & Financial Services N A now owns 31,299 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,988,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the period. Finally, Hudson Valley Investment Advisors Inc. ADV lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 2.3% during the first quarter. Hudson Valley Investment Advisors Inc. ADV now owns 66,891 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,250,000 after acquiring an additional 1,495 shares during the period. 72.86% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 59.945 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $163.49 billion, a PE ratio of 32.455 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 1-year low of $58.29 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $64.48 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.70.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. Merck &’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.07 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of research firms recently issued reports on MRK. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a report on Friday, September 8th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. UBS AG lifted their price objective on Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.67.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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