Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Stock Position Reduced by Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC

Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC lessened its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 57.8% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 5,004 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,851 shares during the quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $899,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Girard Partners LTD. lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.7% in the second quarter. Girard Partners LTD. now owns 103,298 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,661,000 after acquiring an additional 2,720 shares during the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.9% during the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 38,470 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,226,000 after purchasing an additional 5,273 shares in the last quarter. Lowe Wealth Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.0% during the 2nd quarter. Lowe Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,396 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Capital Financial Planning LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $149,000. Finally, Apriem Advisors lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.2% in the 4th quarter. Apriem Advisors now owns 11,321 shares of the company’s stock valued at $865,000 after purchasing an additional 245 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.36% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.



Several equities analysts have commented on MRK shares. Argus increased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Societe Generale set a $105.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $97.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday. Citigroup upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $93.29.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded up $1.05 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $82.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,063,753 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,114,536. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.21. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $84.74 and its 200 day simple moving average is $81.87. The stock has a market capitalization of $213.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.06, a PEG ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.53. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $66.10 and a fifty-two week high of $87.35.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.06 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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