Capital Analysts LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.9% in the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 64,486 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,825 shares during the quarter. Capital Analysts LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,914,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth approximately $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 208.4% during the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 1,340 shares during the period. Taylor Wealth Management Partners bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares during the period. Finally, Well Done LLC bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth approximately $115,000. Institutional investors own 72.19% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. Barclays raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 18th. Bank of America raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. TheStreet upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, June 8th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $67.93.

In other news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 134,094 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Monday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $8,179,734.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,100,000. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 29,208 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Friday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.20, for a total value of $1,904,361.60. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 70,675 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,608,010. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 396,393 shares of company stock valued at $25,235,061 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

MRK stock opened at $69.08 on Wednesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $70.59. The firm has a market cap of $187.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.40 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.28 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.78%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 48.24%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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