Mogy Joel R Investment Counsel Inc. continued to hold its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 51,960 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the first quarter. Mogy Joel R Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $3,302,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Merck & during the fourth quarter worth about $1,628,824,000. Boston Partners boosted its position in Merck & by 2.6% in the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 19,935,016 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,266,671,000 after buying an additional 500,476 shares during the last quarter. Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in Merck & during the fourth quarter worth about $821,068,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its position in Merck & by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 12,753,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $750,807,000 after buying an additional 506,952 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in Merck & by 49.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 8,991,093 shares of the company’s stock worth $571,295,000 after buying an additional 2,983,319 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.68% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at 63.10 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $63.65 and its 200 day moving average price is $63.78. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52 week low of $57.18 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $172.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.16 and a beta of 0.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 25.75% and a net margin of 17.14%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is currently 76.11%.

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MRK has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 price objective (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, May 26th. BidaskClub cut Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.80.

In other news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The stock was 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 $909,702.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Merck & Company Profile

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.

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

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