Ellis Investment Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.8% in the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 20,139 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 555 shares during the quarter. Ellis Investment Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,683,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Titan Capital Management LLC CA acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $25,000. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% during the 2nd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the last quarter. JJJ Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $27,000. Cumberland Partners Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $40,000. Finally, Fusion Family Wealth LLC lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 268.2% in the second quarter. Fusion Family Wealth LLC now owns 486 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,000 after buying an additional 354 shares during the last quarter. 74.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MRK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Citigroup upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $97.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Sunday, September 8th. Bank of America set a $97.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Finally, Svb Leerink initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, August 16th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $93.29.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MRK traded up $0.89 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $84.18. 3,626,160 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,256,082. The company has a market cap of $216.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.40, a P/E/G ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 0.53. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $66.10 and a fifty-two week high of $87.35. 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’s 50-day moving average is $84.62 and its 200-day moving average is $82.22.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.94 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.10% and a return on equity of 43.34%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.06 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.92 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th were paid a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.61%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

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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