Forte Capital LLC ADV Has $2.06 Million Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Forte Capital LLC ADV trimmed its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 6.1% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 29,003 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,897 shares during the period. Forte Capital LLC ADV’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,057,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 86.5% in the third 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 in the last quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 187,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,356,000 after acquiring an additional 774 shares in the last quarter. Associated Banc Corp lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Associated Banc Corp now owns 251,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,293,000 after acquiring an additional 776 shares in the last quarter. Twin Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Twin Capital Management Inc. now owns 269,930 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,385,000 after acquiring an additional 780 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Checchi Capital Advisers LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.0% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 26,914 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,634,000 after acquiring an additional 792 shares in the last quarter. 72.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,851 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total transaction of $19,611,958.08. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 971,801 shares in the company, valued at $68,103,814.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Roger M. Perlmutter sold 225,443 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.27, for a total value of $16,969,094.61. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 366,998 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,623,939.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 1,279,104 shares of company stock worth $92,845,846. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $74.86 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $52.83 and a one year high of $75.99. The company has a market cap of $202.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.81, a P/E/G ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a current ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 34.48% and a net margin of 8.44%. The firm had revenue of $10.79 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.87 billion. On average, research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 25th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.24%.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on MRK. 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 raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Citigroup raised 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, October 31st. SunTrust Banks raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Sunday, July 22nd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $71.92.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.

See Also: Correction

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

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