Merck & Co. (MRK) Shares Bought by Putnam FL Investment Management Co.

Putnam FL Investment Management Co. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.4% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 32,887 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,092 shares during the quarter. Putnam FL Investment Management Co.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $1,791,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of MRK. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 4.2% during the first quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. now owns 21,794 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,187,000 after purchasing an additional 873 shares during the period. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 5.8% during the first quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 280,981 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,305,000 after purchasing an additional 15,376 shares during the period. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 6.9% during the first quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 234,685 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,783,000 after purchasing an additional 15,211 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.1% during the first quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 882,423 shares of the company’s stock valued at $48,066,000 after purchasing an additional 9,364 shares during the period. Finally, Augustine Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 24.2% during the first quarter. Augustine Asset Management Inc. now owns 97,406 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,305,000 after purchasing an additional 18,968 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.14% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $59.17 on Thursday. Merck & Co. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $66.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $157.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.87, a P/E/G ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a current ratio of 1.42, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating 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 analysts’ expectations of $10.09 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.88 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post 4.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 48.24%.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on MRK. Deutsche Bank restated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. ValuEngine cut Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on Merck & Co. from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 16th. Finally, Bank of America boosted their price objective on Merck & Co. from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $65.87.

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

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.

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

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