Alpha DNA Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm purchased 2,662 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $217,000.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. NTV Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 22.8% during the fourth quarter. NTV Asset Management LLC now owns 24,982 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,044,000 after purchasing an additional 4,643 shares during the last quarter. Crawford Investment Counsel Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Crawford Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 982,973 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,407,000 after purchasing an additional 9,909 shares during the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.7% during the 4th quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 383,660 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,383,000 after acquiring an additional 9,905 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% in the 4th quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 2,742,219 shares of the company’s stock valued at $143,758,000 after buying an additional 77,688 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hennessy Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% in the 4th quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 104,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,548,000 after purchasing an additional 16,500 shares during the last quarter. 72.86% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $76.12 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.30. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $71.71 and a one year high of $87.80. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $75.36 and a 200-day simple moving average of $79.05. The company has a market cap of $192.61 billion, a PE ratio of 16.84, a P/E/G ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.43.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 3rd. The company reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.38 by ($0.06). Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 24.33% and a return on equity of 53.83%. The firm had revenue of $12.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.65 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.16 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 15th were paid a $0.65 dividend. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.42%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 12th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.10%.

Separately, Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, February 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.92.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health segments. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, diabetes, and women's health, as well as and vaccine products.

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

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