Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Holdings Reduced by Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc.

Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. trimmed its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.9% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 128,446 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,450 shares during the quarter. Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $7,228,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after buying an additional 3,312,459 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,856,484,000 after buying an additional 1,834,500 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,019,572 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,731,684,000 after buying an additional 801,033 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.5% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 23,515,877 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,505,621,000 after buying an additional 1,631,013 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% during the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 18,730,874 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,199,338,000 after buying an additional 145,744 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.63% of the company’s stock.

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Several equities analysts recently commented on MRK shares. Barclays upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $62.00 to $64.00 in a research report on Thursday. SunTrust Banks upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, DZ Bank upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.47.

Shares of NYSE MRK traded down $1.17 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $53.36. The company had a trading volume of 12,500,216 shares, compared to its average volume of 12,983,889. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $52.83 and a one year high of $66.41. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The firm has a market cap of $147,050.20, a PE ratio of 13.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.78.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 company had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.89 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid 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 of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.24%.

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is currently 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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