New York State Common Retirement Fund Has $527.59 Million Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

New York State Common Retirement Fund reduced its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 8,239,787 shares of the company’s stock after selling 135,265 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 0.7% of New York State Common Retirement Fund’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 25th biggest position. New York State Common Retirement Fund owned 0.30% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $527,594,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Krilogy Financial LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during 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 grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during 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 grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during 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. grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during 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. grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% during 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. 73.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $58.66 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. The stock has a market capitalization of $159,990.00, a P/E ratio of 56.95, a P/E/G ratio of 2.87 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $53.63 and a twelve month high of $66.80.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.27%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research firms have recently commented on MRK. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Berenberg Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Bank of America began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 target price on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, 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 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.06.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on 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 document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.25% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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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.

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

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