West Family Investments Inc. Raises Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

West Family Investments Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 3.7% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 15,410 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 552 shares during the period. West Family Investments Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,264,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth approximately $14,875,000. WealthShield Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.7% during the 4th quarter. WealthShield Partners LLC now owns 11,666 shares of the company’s stock worth $894,000 after purchasing an additional 628 shares during the last quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.2% during the 4th quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 96,828 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,421,000 after purchasing an additional 5,685 shares during the last quarter. Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% during the 4th quarter. Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank now owns 20,897 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,602,000 after purchasing an additional 156 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pittenger & Anderson Inc. lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 45,045 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,452,000 after acquiring an additional 2,445 shares during the last quarter. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Up 0.6 %

Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $87.42 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $221.46 billion, a PE ratio of 13.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $90.11 and a 200 day simple moving average of $87.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 1.39 and a quick ratio of 1.15. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $70.89 and a 1 year high of $95.72.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 29.00% and a return on equity of 48.45%. The business had revenue of $14.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.85 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.31 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.32 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.69 per share. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.16%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 42.27%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of brokerages have recently commented on MRK. Atlantic Securities upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Erste Group Bank upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Cowen upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Cowen upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $97.44.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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.

See Also

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

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