Transform Wealth LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.5% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 6,422 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 157 shares during the period. Transform Wealth LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $584,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Autus Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $316,000. United Capital Management of KS Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.2% during the 4th quarter. United Capital Management of KS Inc. now owns 13,299 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,210,000 after buying an additional 537 shares in the last quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.6% in the 4th quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 40,118 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,649,000 after acquiring an additional 220 shares during the period. 10 15 Associates Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the 4th quarter. 10 15 Associates Inc. now owns 162,791 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,806,000 after acquiring an additional 1,664 shares during the period. Finally, Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% in the 4th quarter. Nippon Life Global Investors Americas Inc. now owns 115,670 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,521,000 after acquiring an additional 3,270 shares during the period. 74.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

MRK stock opened at $85.98 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $72.05 and a 12 month high of $92.64. The firm has a market cap of $225.47 billion, a PE ratio of 24.02, a P/E/G ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 0.52. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $90.21 and a 200 day simple moving average of $85.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.26 and a quick ratio of 0.98.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. The firm had revenue of $12.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 48.16%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.19 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 16th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 13th. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 56.22%.

MRK has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 10th. Royal Bank of Canada assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $99.00 target price for the company. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 13th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, January 6th. Finally, UBS Group lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $94.00 to $99.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $96.38.

In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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