Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. decreased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.4% in the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 42,639 shares of the company’s stock after selling 150 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 2.3% of Mercer Capital Advisers Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 13th largest holding. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,878,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Atwater Malick LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at $57,000. 1 North Wealth Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at $58,000. American National Bank bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at $67,000. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 23.3% in the 3rd quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 793 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Balentine LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 58.4% in the 3rd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $79,000 after acquiring an additional 344 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.51% of the company’s stock.
MRK traded down $2.77 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $85.79. 9,139,321 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,815,827. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a current ratio of 1.26. The stock has a market capitalization of $228.25 billion, a PE ratio of 23.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.52. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $90.26 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $85.77. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $72.05 and a 1 year high of $92.64.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.84%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 56.22%.
Several research firms have recently weighed in on MRK. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, January 8th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 10th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 13th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, January 6th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $99.00 price target for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $96.38.
In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.27% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Merck & Co., Inc. 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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