Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Stock Holdings Lowered by Asahi Life Asset Management CO. LTD.

Asahi Life Asset Management CO. LTD. lessened its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 3.5% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 46,199 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,653 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 1.2% of Asahi Life Asset Management CO. LTD.’s portfolio, making the stock its 28th biggest holding. Asahi Life Asset Management CO. LTD.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,979,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. EdgeRock Capital LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at about $30,000. TFO TDC LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $31,000. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 69.9% in the 2nd quarter. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC now owns 367 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,000 after buying an additional 151 shares in the last quarter. New Millennium Group LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $35,000. Finally, Horizons Wealth Management bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $42,000. Institutional investors own 72.89% of the company’s stock.

Insider Transactions at Merck & Co., Inc.

In other news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.42, for a total value of $1,521,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 32,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,260,044.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 100,292 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $100.10, for a total value of $10,039,229.20. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 45,608 shares in the company, valued at $4,565,360.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Steven Mizell sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.42, for a total value of $1,521,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 32,144 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,260,044.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 1,165,809 shares of company stock valued at $118,007,120 over the last three months. 0.29% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. Cantor Fitzgerald increased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, December 19th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. They issued a “strong-buy” rating for the company. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $110.00 to $125.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 3rd. Bank of America raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $110.00 to $130.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 4th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, November 17th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $120.00 price target for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $113.83.

Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Up 1.3 %

MRK stock traded up $1.38 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $109.90. 926,095 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,476,969. The company has a current ratio of 1.46, a quick ratio of 1.22 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $72.88 and a 52-week high of $115.49. The company has a market cap of $278.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.06, a P/E/G ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 0.39. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $109.70 and its 200-day moving average is $97.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $1.85 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.18. The company had revenue of $14.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.05 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 25.88% and a return on equity of 46.57%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.75 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.4 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Increases Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 9th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 15th were given a $0.73 dividend. This represents a $2.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.66%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.69. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 48.59%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

(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.

See Also

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

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