Parallel Advisors LLC Boosts Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.2% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 31,075 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,263 shares during the quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,204,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Prentiss Smith & Co. Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.1% in the 3rd quarter. Prentiss Smith & Co. Inc. now owns 4,793 shares of the company’s stock worth $340,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC OH increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% in the 3rd quarter. Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC OH now owns 31,345 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,224,000 after buying an additional 725 shares during the period. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.9% in the 3rd quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC now owns 16,310 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,157,000 after buying an additional 756 shares during the period. Institute for Wealth Management LLC. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.4% in the 3rd quarter. Institute for Wealth Management LLC. now owns 11,084 shares of the company’s stock valued at $778,000 after buying an additional 759 shares during the period. Finally, Chase Investment Counsel Corp increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 14.7% in the 3rd quarter. Chase Investment Counsel Corp now owns 5,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $420,000 after buying an additional 762 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.72% of the company’s stock.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,018,000. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 277,879 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $73.81, for a total transaction of $20,510,248.99. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 277,879 shares in the company, valued at $20,510,248.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 1,279,104 shares of company stock worth $92,845,846 over the last ninety days. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $78.21 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $210.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.65, a P/E/G ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.44. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $80.19.

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

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, October 25th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 14th. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.81%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.

Several equities analysts have commented on the stock. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 31st. SunTrust Banks raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 29th. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the company 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 analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.65.

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

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