Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. decreased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 65,493 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,610 shares during the quarter. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,976,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.6% during the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 49,101,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,674,552,000 after purchasing an additional 5,880,457 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth $232,626,000. Pzena Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 175.8% during the first quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 4,524,430 shares of the company’s stock worth $246,446,000 after purchasing an additional 2,883,906 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth $146,631,000. Finally, Natixis boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 303.8% during the first quarter. Natixis now owns 3,040,858 shares of the company’s stock worth $165,636,000 after purchasing an additional 2,287,728 shares during the last quarter. 72.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on MRK shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 16th. TheStreet upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, June 8th. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 15th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Finally, Bank of America lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $67.93.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $14,825,915.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 938,788 shares in the company, valued at $61,021,220. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 29,208 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.20, for a total value of $1,904,361.60. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 70,675 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,608,010. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 396,393 shares of company stock worth $25,235,061. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $69.67 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $52.83 and a twelve month high of $70.25. The firm has a market capitalization of $185.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.32, a PEG ratio of 2.37 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.33.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.26 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.76%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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.

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

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