New Mexico Educational Retirement Board trimmed its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.4% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 211,536 shares of the company’s stock after selling 5,300 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for approximately 0.8% of New Mexico Educational Retirement Board’s holdings, making the stock its 23rd largest holding. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $17,737,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the business. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% in the 2nd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares during the period. JJJ Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $27,000. PRW Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $41,000. Aspire Private Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $55,000. Finally, Thor Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at about $69,000. 76.05% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $1.23 on Wednesday, reaching $86.88. 4,135,872 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 9,460,834. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $83.51 and a 200-day moving average price of $81.06. The firm has a market capitalization of $217.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.02, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a current ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $66.10 and a fifty-two week high of $87.07.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.06 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.53%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 50.69%.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on MRK shares. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 21st. Svb Leerink began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, August 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. Atlantic Securities upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, May 28th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $92.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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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