Colony Group LLC trimmed its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 23.4% during the third quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 19,305 shares of the company’s stock after selling 5,900 shares during the period. Colony Group LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,236,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Krilogy Financial LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the period. Balentine LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 9,291 shares of the company’s stock valued at $595,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 4,313 shares of the company’s stock valued at $276,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. Finally, Cornerstone Advisory LLP raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Advisory LLP now owns 11,110 shares of the company’s stock valued at $712,000 after buying an additional 43 shares during the period. 73.24% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Berenberg Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.88.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $54.87 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $149,490.00, a P/E ratio of 59.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 0.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $53.36 and a 12-month high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 27.73%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.89 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.50%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 206.45%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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

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