Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Systematic Financial Management LP

Systematic Financial Management LP trimmed its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.7% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 111,400 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,714 shares during the quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $7,133,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Honeywell International Inc. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% in the third quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 633,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $40,576,000 after purchasing an additional 100,500 shares in the last quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 65.0% in the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 7,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $491,000 after purchasing an additional 3,019 shares in the last quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.5% in the second quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC now owns 44,558 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,856,000 after purchasing an additional 3,861 shares in the last quarter. Crescent Grove Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter worth approximately $1,092,000. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.6% in the second quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 3,308,781 shares of the company’s stock worth $211,982,000 after purchasing an additional 116,491 shares in the last quarter. 72.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) remained flat at $$54.90 during mid-day trading on Wednesday. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 11,446,423 shares, compared to its average volume of 15,000,000. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $53.36 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The firm has a market cap of $149,570.00, a PE ratio of 59.03, a PEG ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.75.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.50%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 206.45%.

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $290,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,886,072. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on MRK. Leerink Swann lowered their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $56.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, October 30th. UBS Group decreased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.35.

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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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