Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Shares Bought by First Eagle Investment Management LLC

First Eagle Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 256.7% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 27,790 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 20,000 shares during the period. First Eagle Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,779,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after acquiring an additional 3,312,459 shares during the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 71.5% during the 2nd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 6,281,855 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,604,000 after acquiring an additional 2,618,435 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 40.4% during the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,012,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $513,535,000 after acquiring an additional 2,304,142 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 36.3% during the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 7,766,906 shares of the company’s stock worth $497,774,000 after acquiring an additional 2,070,487 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 509.6% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,462,318 shares of the company’s stock worth $157,812,000 after acquiring an additional 2,058,407 shares during the last quarter. 73.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded down $2.16 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $56.40. The company had a trading volume of 19,212,388 shares, compared to its average volume of 12,510,000. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $53.63 and a fifty-two week 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 $153,820.00, a P/E ratio of 60.65, a P/E/G ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 0.75.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.73% and a net margin of 6.40%. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.89 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.11 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.40%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 206.45%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Bank of America started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.59.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,039,175. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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