Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 21.9% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 26,753 shares of the company’s stock after selling 7,506 shares during the period. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $1,505,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. NewSquare Capital LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 728.3% in the 3rd quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after acquiring an additional 13,014 shares in the last quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 79.3% in the 4th quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors now owns 2,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after acquiring an additional 920 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 103.7% in the 4th quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,000 after acquiring an additional 1,270 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co. in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $156,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.60% of the company’s stock.

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Several brokerages recently commented on MRK. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday. Jefferies Group set a $56.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. Barclays upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the company from $62.00 to $64.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 5th. Leerink Swann upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.53.

MRK stock opened at $58.65 on Tuesday. Merck & Co. has a 12-month low of $52.83 and a 12-month high of $66.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.06. The company has a market capitalization of $154,141.17, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.74, a P/E/G ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.77.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 28.61%. The company’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.89 EPS. research analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post 4.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.27%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

In other news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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Merck & Co. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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