LGT Capital Partners LTD. decreased its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 13.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 486,310 shares of the company’s stock after selling 78,570 shares during the quarter. Merck & makes up 3.1% of LGT Capital Partners LTD.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 6th largest position. LGT Capital Partners LTD.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $31,168,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 5.4% during the 1st quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 446,450 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,368,000 after purchasing an additional 22,958 shares in the last quarter. Bridges Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 18.0% during the 2nd quarter. Bridges Investment Management Inc. now owns 46,436 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,976,000 after purchasing an additional 7,070 shares in the last quarter. First PREMIER Bank boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 2.7% during the 1st quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 21,475 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,364,000 after purchasing an additional 570 shares in the last quarter. Agran Libbie boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 83.0% during the 1st quarter. Agran Libbie now owns 11,918 shares of the company’s stock valued at $757,000 after purchasing an additional 5,404 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP bought a new stake in shares of Merck & during the 1st quarter valued at about $15,126,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.02% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded up 1.40% on Thursday, hitting $65.89. 3,924,825 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $179.71 billion, a PE ratio of 35.67 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12 month low of $58.29 and a 12 month high of $66.80. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $63.13 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.69.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. Merck &’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.93 EPS. Analysts forecast 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 paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.87%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 76.11%.

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MRK has been the topic of several research reports. HSBC Holdings plc raised shares of Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. UBS AG boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.00.

Merck & 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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