Brown Advisory Securities LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.7% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 77,784 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,291 shares during the period. Merck & comprises 1.2% of Brown Advisory Securities LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest position. Brown Advisory Securities LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $4,945,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Stockman Wealth Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 6.5% in the first quarter. Stockman Wealth Management Inc. now owns 24,340 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,547,000 after buying an additional 1,493 shares during the last quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 8.0% in the first quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 125,719 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,988,000 after buying an additional 9,266 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 9,821,563 shares of the company’s stock valued at $624,064,000 after buying an additional 41,748 shares during the last quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 59.5% in the first quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC now owns 5,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $347,000 after buying an additional 2,039 shares during the last quarter. Finally, SNS Financial Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & during the first quarter valued at $561,000. 73.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded down 0.05% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $62.46. The company had a trading volume of 1,424,130 shares. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $63.56 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.81. The firm has a market capitalization of $170.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.82 and a beta of 0.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.93 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.01%. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 76.11%.

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Several brokerages have weighed in on MRK. HSBC Holdings plc raised Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. BidaskClub cut Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. UBS AG boosted their price objective on Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.80.

In related news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of Merck & 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 completion of the sale, the director now owns 14,317 shares in the company, valued at approximately $909,702.18. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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