Sawyer & Company Inc Grows Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Sawyer & Company Inc boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 13.8% in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 26,154 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 3,170 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for approximately 1.1% of Sawyer & Company Inc’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 27th biggest holding. Sawyer & Company Inc’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,855,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC OH boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% during the third quarter. Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC OH now owns 31,345 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,224,000 after acquiring an additional 725 shares during the period. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 86.5% during 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 during the period. Howard Capital Management boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% during the third quarter. Howard Capital Management now owns 264,546 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,767,000 after acquiring an additional 771 shares during the period. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during 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 during the period. Finally, Associated Banc Corp lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Associated Banc Corp now owns 251,933 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,293,000 after purchasing an additional 776 shares during the period. 72.13% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

MRK stock opened at $74.84 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $201.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.80, a P/E/G ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.73. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $75.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.44 and a quick ratio of 1.15.

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

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, October 25th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 17th will be given a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 14th. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.94%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. purchased 666,666 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $15.00 per share, for a total transaction of $9,999,990.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 100,000 shares in the company, valued at $7,018,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 1,279,104 shares of company stock worth $92,845,846. 0.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several research firms recently weighed in on MRK. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 31st. SunTrust Banks upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 29th. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $72.53.

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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.

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Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

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

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