Bank Hapoalim BM acquired a new position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor acquired 6,465 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $411,000.

A number of other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of 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. RB Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter worth about $263,000. AE Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter worth about $1,741,000. First PREMIER Bank increased its stake in shares of Merck & by 2.7% in the first quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 21,475 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,364,000 after buying an additional 570 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Blue Edge Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter worth about $744,000. 73.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 63.10 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $172.59 billion, a PE ratio of 34.16 and a beta of 0.80. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $63.65 and a 200 day moving average of $63.78. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 1-year low of $57.18 and a 1-year high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 25.75%. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current year.

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

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MRK has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co upped their price objective on shares of Merck & from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Vetr raised shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $71.50 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Finally, Cowen and Company reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $70.00 target price (up from $68.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $69.80.

In other news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction 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 transaction, the director now owns 14,317 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $909,702.18. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by 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.

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

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