Probity Advisors Inc. Buys 263 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Probity Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 1.2% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 21,621 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 263 shares during the quarter. Probity Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,657,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wellington Management Group LLP grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% during the third quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 49,559,078 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,722,381,000 after buying an additional 1,152,241 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.2% during the third quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 39,262,359 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,948,995,000 after buying an additional 457,650 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.7% during the fourth quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 28,981,674 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,221,156,000 after buying an additional 3,484,786 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.1% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 26,289,496 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,044,534,000 after buying an additional 3,832,086 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.3% during the third quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 19,461,290 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,461,738,000 after buying an additional 5,687,973 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.88% of the company’s stock.

NYSE MRK traded down $0.42 during trading on Friday, reaching $90.41. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,308,067 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,242,952. The stock has a market capitalization of $228.63 billion, a PE ratio of 16.17, a P/E/G ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 1.27 and a quick ratio of 1.02. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $83.97 and a 200 day moving average of $80.70. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $70.89 and a one year high of $91.40.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $2.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.83 by $0.31. The business had revenue of $15.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.64 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 49.57% and a net margin of 26.27%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 31.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.40 EPS. Research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on MRK. Mizuho began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, April 1st. They set a “buy” rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. SVB Leerink dropped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $100.00 to $97.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $100.00 to $95.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 28th. Barclays upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $94.00 to $97.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 12th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $82.00 to $80.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 6th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $90.69.

About Merck & Co., Inc. (Get Rating)

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

Further Reading

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

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