Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,018,000. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $0.05 on Tuesday, reaching $70.42. 6,800,300 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,806,146. The firm has a market cap of $188.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.61, a P/E/G ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $52.83 and a twelve month high of $70.94.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. The business’s revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.01 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 48.24%.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. Barclays lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 7th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, August 16th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, June 18th. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 23rd. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $67.93.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at about $2,203,000. SP Asset Management acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at about $3,927,000. Ashburton Jersey Ltd raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the second quarter. Ashburton Jersey Ltd now owns 314,997 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,120,000 after buying an additional 5,285 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 126.5% during the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 12,954 shares of the company’s stock valued at $786,000 after buying an additional 7,236 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mainstay Capital Management LLC ADV raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5,427.3% during the second quarter. Mainstay Capital Management LLC ADV now owns 17,411 shares of the company’s stock valued at $297,000 after buying an additional 17,096 shares during the last quarter. 72.14% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

Featured Article: How to Invest in Marijuana Stocks

Insider Buying and Selling 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.