Triangle Securities Wealth Management decreased its stake in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 15,109 shares of the company’s stock after selling 93 shares during the period. Triangle Securities Wealth Management’s holdings in Merck & were worth $968,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 133.4% in the 1st quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 144,247 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,165,000 after buying an additional 82,454 shares in the last quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC raised its position in Merck & by 5.4% in 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 during the last quarter. First PREMIER Bank raised its position in Merck & by 2.7% in 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 during the last quarter. Agran Libbie raised its position in Merck & by 83.0% in 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in Merck & in the 1st quarter valued at $15,126,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.02% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded down 0.29% during trading on Friday, reaching $65.93. 6,577,485 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average is $63.34 and its 200 day moving average is $63.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $179.81 billion, a PE ratio of 35.70 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.29 and a 52 week high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.93 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.11%.

Several analysts recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $73.00 price target (down previously from $74.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.00.

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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.

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

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