Cribstone Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 27,537 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,437 shares during the quarter. Cribstone Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,953,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Senator Investment Group LP acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $285,594,000. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $232,626,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.8% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,486,915 shares of the company’s stock worth $757,959,000 after purchasing an additional 3,682,328 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,653,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,346,241,000 after purchasing an additional 3,242,430 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management LTD grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4,320.3% in the 2nd quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 3,096,008 shares of the company’s stock worth $187,928,000 after purchasing an additional 3,025,967 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.29% of the company’s stock.

In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,851 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total transaction of $19,611,958.08. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,801 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $68,103,814.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Roger M. Perlmutter sold 225,443 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.27, for a total transaction of $16,969,094.61. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 366,998 shares in the company, valued at $27,623,939.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 1,279,104 shares of company stock worth $92,845,846 over the last ninety days. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MRK. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 16th. Bank of America lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $72.53.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $74.79 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $205.85 billion, a PE ratio of 18.79, a PEG ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a current ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $76.61.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.48%. The firm had revenue of $10.79 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.87 billion. On average, equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: “Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Holdings Increased by Cribstone Capital Management LLC” was first published by Daily Political and is the property of of Daily Political. If you are viewing this piece of content on another site, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of US & international trademark and copyright laws. The legal version of this piece of content can be viewed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2018/11/22/merck-co-inc-mrk-holdings-increased-by-cribstone-capital-management-llc.html.

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.

See Also: What Does Beta Mean In Stock Selection

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.