Sound Shore Management Inc CT Raises Stock Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Sound Shore Management Inc CT boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 0.9% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 668,158 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 5,644 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 2.3% of Sound Shore Management Inc CT’s portfolio, making the stock its 25th biggest holding. Sound Shore Management Inc CT’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $57,542,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Consolidated Planning Corp boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.6% during the third quarter. Consolidated Planning Corp now owns 3,538 shares of the company’s stock valued at $305,000 after buying an additional 280 shares during the last quarter. Cowa LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $192,000. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings LLC now owns 1,609,292 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,592,000 after acquiring an additional 19,497 shares during the last quarter. V Wealth Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 33.0% in the third quarter. V Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 34,261 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,951,000 after purchasing an additional 8,494 shares in the last quarter. Finally, WealthShield Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.9% in the third quarter. WealthShield Partners LLC now owns 21,172 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,838,000 after purchasing an additional 1,901 shares in the last quarter. 72.89% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Insider Activity

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 164,557 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.26, for a total transaction of $16,498,484.82. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 136,977 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,733,314.02. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. In other news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 164,557 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.26, for a total transaction of $16,498,484.82. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 136,977 shares in the company, valued at $13,733,314.02. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 100,292 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.10, for a total transaction of $10,039,229.20. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 45,608 shares in the company, valued at $4,565,360.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,165,809 shares of company stock worth $118,007,120. Company insiders own 0.29% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Up 0.4 %

MRK stock opened at $108.93 on Wednesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $72.88 and a 12 month high of $115.49. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $109.70 and its 200 day moving average is $97.76. The company has a market capitalization of $276.18 billion, a PE ratio of 18.06, a P/E/G ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 1.46 and a quick ratio of 1.22.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $1.85 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.18. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 25.88% and a return on equity of 46.57%. The business had revenue of $14.96 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $14.05 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.75 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.4 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Increases Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 9th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 15th were issued a $0.73 dividend. This represents a $2.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.68%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.69. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.59%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

MRK has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Cantor Fitzgerald lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, December 19th. Guggenheim lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $104.00 to $111.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 1st. Mizuho boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $100.00 to $130.00 in a research note on Thursday, December 15th. Truist Financial raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $103.00 to $106.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 28th. Finally, SVB Leerink lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $112.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $113.83.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

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

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

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