Certified Advisory Corp Acquires New Position in Merck & Co. (MRK)

Certified Advisory Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor acquired 3,285 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $184,000.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,848,368 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,401,418,000 after buying an additional 1,255,336 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 58.4% during the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 43,221,157 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,432,154,000 after buying an additional 15,932,771 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 3.4% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 29,116,826 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,634,999,000 after buying an additional 957,657 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 7.5% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 23,515,877 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,505,621,000 after buying an additional 1,631,013 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in Merck & Co. by 0.7% during the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,660,131 shares of the company’s stock valued at $938,669,000 after buying an additional 95,743 shares in the last quarter. 74.87% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In related news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 9,972 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.66, for a total value of $594,929.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 24,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $1,392,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group set a $55.00 target price on Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. DZ Bank upgraded Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Merck & Co. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on Merck & Co. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, February 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $65.87.

Merck & Co. opened at $59.14 on Friday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $52.83 and a 52 week high of $66.41. The company has a market capitalization of $161.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.86, a PEG ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a current ratio of 1.42.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.05. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 30.93% and a net margin of 4.31%. The firm had revenue of $10.04 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.09 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.88 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post 4.23 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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