RWC Asset Management LLP reduced its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.2% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 533,390 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,192 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for approximately 2.1% of RWC Asset Management LLP’s portfolio, making the stock its 9th largest holding. RWC Asset Management LLP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $34,153,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,442,709,000 after purchasing an additional 3,312,459 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,856,484,000 after purchasing an additional 1,834,500 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,019,572 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,731,684,000 after purchasing an additional 801,033 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.5% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 23,515,877 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,505,621,000 after purchasing an additional 1,631,013 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 18,730,874 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,199,338,000 after purchasing an additional 145,744 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.24% of the company’s stock.

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

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion for 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 prior year, the firm posted $0.89 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business 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 dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.50%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 206.45%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

MRK has been the topic of several research reports. SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann lowered their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.88.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: “RWC Asset Management LLP Lowers Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)” was published by TheOlympiaReport and is the sole property of of TheOlympiaReport. If you are viewing this piece of content on another site, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of U.S. and international copyright and trademark law. The legal version of this piece of content can be viewed at https://theolympiareport.com/2018/02/11/rwc-asset-management-llp-lowers-holdings-in-merck-co-inc-mrk.html.

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.

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.