Greystone Managed Investments Inc. lowered its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 216,384 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,504 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 1.0% of Greystone Managed Investments Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 28th largest position. Greystone Managed Investments Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $16,534,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 186.4% during the 4th quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 653 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,000 after acquiring an additional 425 shares during the last quarter. Arlington Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 93.5% during the 4th quarter. Arlington Partners LLC now owns 828 shares of the company’s stock valued at $63,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $66,000. Advisors Preferred LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $66,000. Finally, Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 150.0% during the 4th quarter. Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $76,000 after acquiring an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. 73.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. BMO Capital Markets cut Merck & Co., Inc. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $80.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, March 4th. Finally, Argus boosted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $82.92.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.73, for a total value of $1,943,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 92,604 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,198,108.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. purchased 4,121,683 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was bought at an average price of $16.00 per share, with a total value of $65,946,928.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 766,625 shares of company stock valued at $62,212,275. 0.27% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $77.55 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.37 and a quick ratio of 1.06. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $57.49 and a 1 year high of $83.85. The stock has a market cap of $207.80 billion, a PE ratio of 17.87, a PEG ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.58.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 39.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The business had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.05 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 EPS for the current year.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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