First Eagle Investment Management LLC Grows Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

First Eagle Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 256.7% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 27,790 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 20,000 shares during the quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,779,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Krilogy Financial LLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Balentine LLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. RB Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the second quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 4,587 shares of the company’s stock valued at $294,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 9,291 shares of the company’s stock valued at $595,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 4,313 shares of the company’s stock valued at $276,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.

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 current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. The firm has a market cap of $159,990.00, a PE ratio of 56.95, a P/E/G ratio of 2.87 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 27.08%. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. This is a boost 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%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 186.41%.

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

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

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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