Waverton Investment Management Ltd continued to hold its position in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 16,240 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Waverton Investment Management Ltd’s holdings in Merck & were worth $1,041,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH boosted its holdings in Merck & by 133.4% in the first quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 144,247 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,165,000 after purchasing an additional 82,454 shares during the period. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & by 5.4% in the first 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 period. Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new position in Merck & in the first quarter valued at $15,126,000. Agran Libbie boosted its holdings in Merck & by 83.0% in the first 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 period. Finally, PVG Asset Management Corp purchased a new position in Merck & in the first quarter valued at $2,781,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.91% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded down 0.62% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $65.19. The company had a trading volume of 2,564,411 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average is $63.52 and its 200-day moving average is $63.68. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $177.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.30 and a beta of 0.81.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The firm 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%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company 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 $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is 76.11%.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. BidaskClub raised Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, May 26th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price target on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price target on Merck & and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. 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 stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.00.

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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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