Raymond James Trust N.A. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.4% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 294,072 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 9,613 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up about 1.1% of Raymond James Trust N.A.’s portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest position. Raymond James Trust N.A.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $24,393,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Toth Financial Advisory Corp bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $32,000. Lake Point Wealth Management boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 159.0% in the 1st quarter. Lake Point Wealth Management now owns 518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,000 after purchasing an additional 318 shares during the last quarter. Provident Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at $43,000. Estate Counselors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $45,000. Finally, Watson Rebecca acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $48,000. 73.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In other news, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 18,876 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total value of $1,539,337.80. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 99,639 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,125,560.45. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 10,380 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.01, for a total transaction of $861,643.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 280,529 shares of company stock worth $22,761,633. Insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of a number of research reports. Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, September 29th. They set a “hold” rating and a $88.00 target price on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $91.00 to $105.00 in a research report on Monday, August 3rd. SVB Leerink boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 25th. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, June 23rd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.08.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $79.83 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. The firm has a market capitalization of $201.91 billion, a PE ratio of 19.47, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.43. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $65.25 and a twelve month high of $92.64. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $83.27 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $80.42.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Stockholders 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 was Monday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 47.01%.

Merck & Co., Inc. 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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