Dividend Assets Capital LLC Increases Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Dividend Assets Capital LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 29.1% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 14,975 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 3,375 shares during the quarter. Dividend Assets Capital LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $959,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Hanson McClain Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 65.0% in the 2nd quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 7,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $491,000 after purchasing an additional 3,019 shares during the period. Honeywell International Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% in the 3rd quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 633,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,576,000 after purchasing an additional 100,500 shares during the period. Trust Co boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.8% in the 1st quarter. Trust Co now owns 68,789 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,371,000 after purchasing an additional 1,852 shares during the period. Hartland & Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.5% in the 2nd quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC now owns 44,558 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,856,000 after purchasing an additional 3,861 shares during the period. Finally, Crescent Grove Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,092,000. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.25% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $58.66 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $53.63 and a one year high of $66.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43. The firm has a market capitalization of $159,990.00, a PE ratio of 56.95, a PEG ratio of 2.87 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.07 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.27%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 186.41%.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Leerink Swann increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 20th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $72.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.06.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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 & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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