Advisor Resource Council Trims Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Advisor Resource Council cut its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 57.1% during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 2,599 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,462 shares during the quarter. Advisor Resource Council’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $343,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Kennedy Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.7% during the third quarter. Kennedy Capital Management LLC now owns 12,573 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,294,000 after purchasing an additional 1,795 shares in the last quarter. Jackson Wealth Management LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. Jackson Wealth Management LLC now owns 46,199 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,756,000 after purchasing an additional 341 shares during the period. Shakespeare Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter valued at $268,000. Seven Eight Capital LP bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter worth $11,909,000. Finally, Sei Investments Co. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 1,517,525 shares of the company’s stock worth $156,229,000 after buying an additional 10,763 shares during the period. 76.07% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of research firms have commented on MRK. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $155.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, June 18th. Berenberg Bank lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $140.00 to $143.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 8th. Societe Generale cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $104.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, March 11th. Wells Fargo & Company increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. Finally, Argus upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $133.00.

View Our Latest Stock Analysis on Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. Price Performance

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $125.85 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $99.14 and a 52-week high of $134.63. The company has a quick ratio of 0.99, a current ratio of 1.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $129.33 and its 200 day moving average is $124.71. The company has a market cap of $318.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 139.83, a PEG ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 0.38.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $2.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.94 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $15.78 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.21 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.76% and a return on equity of 14.05%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.40 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 17th will be given a dividend of $0.77 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 17th. This represents a $3.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.45%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 342.22%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

(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.

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

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