Two Sigma Securities LLC boosted its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 37.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 38,811 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 10,507 shares during the period. Merck & makes up about 0.5% of Two Sigma Securities LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 27th largest position. Two Sigma Securities LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $2,466,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Merck & during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,628,824,000. Boston Partners increased its stake 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 purchased a new stake in Merck & during the fourth quarter worth approximately $821,068,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake 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, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its stake in Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 9,821,563 shares of the company’s stock worth $624,064,000 after buying an additional 41,748 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.73% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded up 0.32% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $62.38. The stock had a trading volume of 6,050,985 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $63.36 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.80. The stock has a market cap of $170.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.77 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.29 and a 52 week high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced 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. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.93 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company 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 of this dividend 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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MRK has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 price objective (up 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 stock 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 downgraded 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 target on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.58.

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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