Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Shares Bought by IBM Retirement Fund

IBM Retirement Fund lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.4% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 71,630 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 3,699 shares during the quarter. IBM Retirement Fund’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,399,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of MRK. NewSquare Capital LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 728.3% in the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 13,014 shares during the last quarter. Balentine LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 103.7% in the fourth quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 1,270 shares during the last quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 748.1% in the second quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC now owns 2,256 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 1,990 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 212.5% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $160,000 after buying an additional 1,700 shares during the last quarter. 74.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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A number of research firms have issued reports on MRK. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. SunTrust Banks raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group decreased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, February 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.47.

In related news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. 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 directly owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $53.36 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $52.83 and a one year high of $66.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.06. The firm has a market capitalization of $147,050.20, a PE ratio of 13.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.78.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The firm had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.89 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.60%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

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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.

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

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