Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Stock Holdings Increased by Forbes J M & Co. LLP

Forbes J M & Co. LLP increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.3% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 172,427 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 16,060 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 2.8% of Forbes J M & Co. LLP’s portfolio, making the stock its 8th biggest position. Forbes J M & Co. LLP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $14,458,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BHK Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.9% in the second quarter. BHK Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,277 shares of the company’s stock valued at $526,000 after purchasing an additional 236 shares in the last quarter. Day & Ennis LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 119.9% in the second quarter. Day & Ennis LLC now owns 7,336 shares of the company’s stock valued at $615,000 after purchasing an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. Clarius Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 14.1% in the second quarter. Clarius Group LLC now owns 17,953 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,505,000 after purchasing an additional 2,222 shares in the last quarter. Employers Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at about $2,707,000. Finally, Windsor Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.6% in the second quarter. Windsor Capital Management LLC now owns 11,873 shares of the company’s stock valued at $995,000 after purchasing an additional 182 shares in the last quarter. 75.34% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded up $1.60 during trading on Friday, reaching $85.06. The stock had a trading volume of 8,550,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,547,986. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $83.38 and a 200-day moving average price of $80.94. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The stock has a market cap of $213.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.60, a PEG ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $66.10 and a fifty-two week high of $87.07.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.10% and a return on equity of 43.34%. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.06 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 50.69%.

Several analysts have issued reports on the stock. Bank of America set a $97.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 11th. UBS Group boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $87.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Leerink Swann started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price objective for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 14th. Finally, Atlantic Securities raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $92.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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