Albion Financial Group UT raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 17.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 73,625 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 11,022 shares during the period. Albion Financial Group UT’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,469,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 33,861.5% in the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 135,846 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,246,000 after acquiring an additional 135,446 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $2,027,000. New England Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.0% during the 2nd quarter. New England Asset Management Inc. now owns 62,950 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,821,000 after purchasing an additional 6,750 shares in the last quarter. Zacks Investment Management increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Zacks Investment Management now owns 1,372,760 shares of the company’s stock valued at $83,327,000 after purchasing an additional 22,666 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vident Investment Advisory LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% during the 2nd quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 60,264 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,658,000 after purchasing an additional 9,519 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.31% of the company’s stock.

MRK opened at $72.35 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market cap of $193.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.18, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $72.89.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th were issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 48.24%.

A number of analysts have commented on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 1st. Guggenheim assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, October 8th. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Finally, Barclays boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $75.00 to $78.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 12th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $70.24.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total transaction of $20,168,789.50. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $70,037,626. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total transaction of $325,050.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 929,360 shares of company stock worth $64,370,599 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

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.

Read More: Market Capitalization – What it Means for Investors

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

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