Belmont Capital LLC cut its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 19.6% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 8,736 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,134 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up 0.8% of Belmont Capital LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 7th largest position. Belmont Capital LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $673,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Raab & Moskowitz Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.5% during the 1st quarter. Raab & Moskowitz Asset Management LLC now owns 47,640 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,672,000 after buying an additional 1,148 shares during the last quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.5% in the first quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC now owns 83,607 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,445,000 after acquiring an additional 13,625 shares in the last quarter. JJJ Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.0% in the first quarter. JJJ Advisors Inc. now owns 2,409 shares of the company’s stock valued at $186,000 after acquiring an additional 368 shares in the last quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.7% during the first quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 5,567 shares of the company’s stock worth $429,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Finally, Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 31.7% during the first quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 10,922 shares of the company’s stock worth $842,000 after buying an additional 2,630 shares during the period. 72.86% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of MRK stock traded up $0.11 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $76.09. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 268,752 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,885,203. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $71.71 and a 1-year high of $87.80. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $76.83 and its two-hundred day moving average is $78.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.30. The company has a market cap of $192.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.81, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.43.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The company reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by ($0.23). The business had revenue of $12.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.71 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 24.33% and a return on equity of 53.83%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.50 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current year.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on MRK. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, February 5th. SVB Leerink decreased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $103.00 to $102.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $97.22.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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 vaccine products.

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

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