Allred Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.3% during the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 22,814 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 287 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 1.1% of Allred Capital Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 19th largest position. Allred Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,892,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.8% during the 3rd quarter. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV now owns 19,777 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,641,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the period. Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors LP acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter valued at $247,000. Strategic Investment Advisors MI lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 45.5% during the 3rd quarter. Strategic Investment Advisors MI now owns 10,884 shares of the company’s stock valued at $903,000 after acquiring an additional 3,402 shares during the period. CRA Financial Services LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 34.1% during the 3rd quarter. CRA Financial Services LLC now owns 10,919 shares of the company’s stock valued at $906,000 after acquiring an additional 2,776 shares during the period. Finally, Paulson Wealth Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.9% during the 3rd quarter. Paulson Wealth Management Inc. now owns 5,081 shares of the company’s stock valued at $421,000 after acquiring an additional 281 shares during the period. 73.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

NYSE MRK opened at $79.83 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $65.25 and a 1 year high of $92.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 1.32 and a quick ratio of 1.05. The firm has a market cap of $201.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.47, a PEG ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $83.27 and a 200-day moving average price of $80.42.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. The company had revenue of $10.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.52 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 22.20% and a return on equity of 52.94%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.30 EPS. On average, research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 15th were issued a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 47.01%.

A number of analysts have commented on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $91.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Monday, August 3rd. Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, September 29th. They set a “hold” rating and a $88.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, June 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday. Finally, SVB Leerink boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.08.

In related news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total value of $20,360,651.19. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 422,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $34,221,318.87. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 18,876 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total transaction of $1,539,337.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 99,639 shares in the company, valued at $8,125,560.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 280,529 shares of company stock worth $22,761,633 over the last three months. 0.28% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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