Private Asset Management Inc. Decreases Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Private Asset Management Inc. trimmed its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 231,608 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,249 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 2.2% of Private Asset Management Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 13th biggest holding. Private Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $14,059,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of MRK. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% during the 2nd quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware now owns 15,447 shares of the company’s stock valued at $938,000 after purchasing an additional 815 shares in the last quarter. Summit X LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% during the 1st quarter. Summit X LLC now owns 10,093 shares of the company’s stock valued at $552,000 after purchasing an additional 850 shares in the last quarter. Covenant Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Covenant Asset Management LLC now owns 62,353 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,785,000 after purchasing an additional 850 shares in the last quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.2% during the 1st quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. now owns 21,794 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,187,000 after purchasing an additional 873 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alpha Cubed Investments LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.0% during the 1st quarter. Alpha Cubed Investments LLC now owns 8,970 shares of the company’s stock valued at $489,000 after purchasing an additional 887 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.02% of the company’s stock.

MRK opened at $66.46 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The company has a market capitalization of $178.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $52.83 and a 12-month high of $66.99.



Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. The firm’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.01 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, June 8th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, June 7th. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 15th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $66.24.

In related news, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total value of $325,050.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 29,208 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.20, for a total transaction of $1,904,361.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 70,675 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,608,010. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 396,393 shares of company stock worth $25,235,061. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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