Cornerstone Advisors Inc. continued to hold its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 13,372 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the first quarter. Merck & accounts for 0.5% of Cornerstone Advisors Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest position. Cornerstone Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $850,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Hudock Capital Group LLC raised its position in Merck & by 15.7% in the first quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 38,913 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,472,000 after buying an additional 5,275 shares during the last quarter. Smith Chas P & Associates PA Cpas increased its stake in Merck & by 4.8% in the first quarter. Smith Chas P & Associates PA Cpas now owns 314,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,964,000 after buying an additional 14,419 shares during the period. Hamlin Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Merck & by 10.0% in the first quarter. Hamlin Capital Management LLC now owns 777,709 shares of the company’s stock worth $49,416,000 after buying an additional 70,996 shares during the period. Dillon & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & during the first quarter worth approximately $206,000. Finally, Palo Capital Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & during the first quarter worth approximately $283,000. 73.76% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at 62.61 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $64.44 and its 200-day moving average is $63.36. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12-month low of $57.18 and a 12-month high of $66.80. The firm has a market cap of $171.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.90 and a beta of 0.81.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $9.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.25 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 15.32% and a return on equity of 24.99%. Merck &’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.89 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th were given a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.00%. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is 85.84%.

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A number of research firms have commented on MRK. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “sell” rating on shares of Merck & in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $66.00 price target (up from $64.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Monday. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $70.00 price target (up from $68.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $69.63.

In related news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total value of $317,700.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 14,317 shares in the company, valued at approximately $909,702.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

About Merck &

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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