Stonebridge Capital Management Inc. lessened its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 26.4% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 27,152 shares of the company’s stock after selling 9,738 shares during the period. Stonebridge Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,286,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth approximately $2,166,688,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6,517.4% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 24,307,332 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,038,169,000 after acquiring an additional 23,940,007 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 191,863,408 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,087,745,000 after acquiring an additional 4,397,580 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.2% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 11,111,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $924,139,000 after acquiring an additional 3,244,078 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,596,161,000 after acquiring an additional 3,219,877 shares during the last quarter. 74.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of MRK traded up $0.96 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $82.58. 266,416 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,043,493. The company has a current ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $66.10 and a 52-week high of $87.35. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $84.73 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $82.14. The company has a market cap of $215.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.71 and a beta of 0.53.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 50.69%.
In related news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The shares were 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 14th. Bank of America set a $97.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. ValuEngine cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Svb Leerink assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, August 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $93.29.
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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