Heritage Trust Co Grows Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Heritage Trust Co increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.1% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 53,686 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 4,943 shares during the quarter. Heritage Trust Co’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,139,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Financial Avengers Inc. bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth $28,000. Curi Capital bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth $29,000. Veritas Investment Partners UK Ltd. bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth $30,000. Paradigm Strategies in Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth $30,000. Finally, Oder Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth $31,000. 71.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In related news, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 19,324 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.32, for a total value of $1,513,455.68. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. SVB Leerink decreased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $102.00 to $99.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, June 3rd. Argus reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, May 20th. Truist Securities decreased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $96.00 to $93.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $100.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $96.11.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $0.25 during trading on Friday, reaching $75.89. 446,496 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 11,922,932. The firm has a market cap of $192.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.40. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $76.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 1.02 and a quick ratio of 0.78. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $71.71 and a 52-week high of $87.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by ($0.23). The company had revenue of $12.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.71 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 54.15% and a net margin of 14.64%. The company’s revenue was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.50 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 6.47 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, June 4th were given a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 3rd. This represents a yield of 3.42%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.77%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health segments. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, diabetes, and women's health, as well as vaccine products.

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

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