Abbot Financial Management Inc. Increases Holdings in Merck & Co. (MRK)

Abbot Financial Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.6% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 38,124 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,027 shares during the period. Merck & Co. comprises 1.7% of Abbot Financial Management Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 18th largest holding. Abbot Financial Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $2,077,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in MRK. Santori & Peters Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $110,000. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 79.3% in the fourth quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors now owns 2,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 920 shares during the last quarter. Avestar Capital LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $130,000. WealthTrust Arizona LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 103.7% during the fourth quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,270 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new position in Merck & Co. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $156,000. Institutional investors own 73.14% of the company’s stock.

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

MRK opened at $58.57 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.42 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $52.83 and a 52-week high of $66.41. The company has a market cap of $159.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.76.

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

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

Merck & Co. Company 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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