Hartford Investment Management Co. Has $18.61 Million Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Hartford Investment Management Co. lowered its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 2.1% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 170,728 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,712 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 0.7% of Hartford Investment Management Co.’s holdings, making the stock its 21st largest holding. Hartford Investment Management Co.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $18,613,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. State Street Corp increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 118,562,086 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,766,428,000 after purchasing an additional 2,174,829 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.7% in the 3rd quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 82,442,666 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,487,472,000 after acquiring an additional 5,196,914 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 41,850,081 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,643,267,000 after acquiring an additional 4,000,816 shares during the last quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 103,159.7% during the 4th quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 39,327,490 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,363,385,000 after acquiring an additional 39,289,404 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.1% in the third quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 31,951,714 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,289,429,000 after purchasing an additional 1,246,705 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.07% of the company’s stock.

Insider Activity

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total transaction of $6,420,395.10. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 23,619 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,991,346.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. In related news, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total value of $124,890.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,443,972.41. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total value of $6,420,395.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 23,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,991,346.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

MRK traded down $0.13 on Wednesday, reaching $130.22. The company had a trading volume of 3,194,709 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,629,859. The stock has a market cap of $329.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 929.50, a P/E/G ratio of 0.52 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.25. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $99.14 and a fifty-two week high of $133.10. The company’s fifty day moving average is $125.45 and its 200 day moving average is $113.20.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by $0.12. The company had revenue of $14.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $14.49 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 9.33% and a net margin of 0.61%. The business’s revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.62 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.77 per share. This represents a $3.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.37%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 2,200.00%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several research analysts recently commented on the stock. TheStreet cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b+” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, March 4th. TD Cowen upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $125.00 to $135.00 in a report on Thursday, January 4th. UBS Group upped their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $135.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Cantor Fitzgerald restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $135.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. Finally, Truist Financial reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $142.00 price objective (up previously from $139.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, March 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $129.71.

Get Our Latest Report on Merck & Co., Inc.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

(Free Report)

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 under the Keytruda, Bridion, Adempas, Lagevrio, Belsomra, Simponi, and Januvia brands, as well as vaccine products consisting of preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines under the Gardasil/Gardasil 9, ProQuad, M-M-R II, Varivax, RotaTeq, Live Oral, Vaxneuvance, Pneumovax 23, and Vaqta names.

Further Reading

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

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