Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Stake Increased by Arrow Financial Corp

Arrow Financial Corp grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.0% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 66,143 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,272 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 1.0% of Arrow Financial Corp’s portfolio, making the stock its 25th biggest holding. Arrow Financial Corp’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,692,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 86.5% during the 3rd quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after acquiring an additional 768 shares during the period. Taylor Wealth Management Partners bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after acquiring an additional 1,114 shares during the period. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at $103,000. Finally, Acropolis Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter valued at $140,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.33% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on MRK. Citigroup upped their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Bank of America upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. SunTrust Banks upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $71.92.

Shares of MRK stock opened at $72.27 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $52.83 and a twelve month high of $74.49. The firm has a market cap of $194.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.73.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 34.20% and a net margin of 8.44%. The business had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.87 billion. On average, research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 25th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 17th will be issued a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.04%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

In other news, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. bought 666,666 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The stock was acquired at an average price of $15.00 per share, with a total value of $9,999,990.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 277,879 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.81, for a total value of $20,510,248.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 277,879 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $20,510,248.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 1,017,443 shares of company stock valued at $73,155,331. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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