Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.7% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 7,449 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 267 shares during the quarter. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $620,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. PRW Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth approximately $41,000. Aspire Private Capital LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth approximately $55,000. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth approximately $66,000. Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 150.0% in the fourth quarter. Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $76,000 after acquiring an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vestor Capital LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth approximately $77,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.17% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the subject of several recent research reports. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. Argus boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $95.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $83.08.

In other news, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. acquired 4,121,683 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 8th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $16.00 per share, with a total value of $65,946,928.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.73, for a total transaction of $1,943,250.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 92,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,198,108.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 445,308 shares of company stock valued at $36,421,320. 0.27% of the stock is owned by insiders.

NYSE MRK opened at $83.71 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The firm has a market cap of $213.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.29, a PEG ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.55. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $59.80 and a 1 year high of $84.27.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. The business had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.45 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 19.50% and a return on equity of 39.85%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.05 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 8th. Investors of record on Monday, June 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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