IFG Advisory LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.3% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 16,840 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 688 shares during the quarter. IFG Advisory LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,412,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Enterprise Trust & Investment Co purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at approximately $3,568,000. TrinityPoint Wealth LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.1% during the second quarter. TrinityPoint Wealth LLC now owns 11,988 shares of the company’s stock valued at $980,000 after buying an additional 249 shares during the period. Beaumont Financial Partners LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.0% during the second quarter. Beaumont Financial Partners LLC now owns 78,998 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,624,000 after buying an additional 5,853 shares during the period. Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services Inc. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.8% during the second quarter. Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services Inc. now owns 6,932 shares of the company’s stock valued at $581,000 after buying an additional 786 shares during the period. Finally, H D Vest Advisory Services increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.6% during the second quarter. H D Vest Advisory Services now owns 32,691 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,741,000 after buying an additional 5,583 shares during the period. 76.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MRK traded down $1.00 during trading on Friday, hitting $85.72. The stock had a trading volume of 2,160,902 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,420,273. The company has a market capitalization of $219.30 billion, a PE ratio of 19.75, a PEG ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 0.56. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $66.10 and a twelve month high of $87.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.21. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $83.55 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $81.17.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.57%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

In related news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, 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.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, May 28th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 price objective on the stock. Bank of America set a $97.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 11th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. UBS Group lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $87.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $92.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. 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.

Further Reading: How much money do you need to begin day trading?

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.