TCG Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 16.2% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 15,089 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 2,101 shares during the quarter. TCG Advisors LP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,161,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth $2,503,956,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 196,345,328 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,106,811,000 after purchasing an additional 5,562,103 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.5% during the 4th quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 28,954,215 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,633,372,000 after purchasing an additional 4,108,756 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.7% during the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 25,530,146 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,321,967,000 after purchasing an additional 2,261,603 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 21.7% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 10,659,857 shares of the company’s stock worth $820,169,000 after purchasing an additional 1,900,600 shares during the last quarter. 74.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $89.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 1st. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, February 5th. UBS Group decreased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $96.00 to $92.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, April 13th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, May 4th. Finally, Argus decreased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $95.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 24th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $94.21.

In related news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.02, for a total transaction of $380,100.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $387,702. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.28% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded down $1.21 during trading on Monday, hitting $79.51. The stock had a trading volume of 328,189 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,026,432. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $65.25 and a 12-month high of $92.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $203.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a quick ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $79.53 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $83.11.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 28th. The company reported $1.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.16. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 52.46% and a net margin of 21.10%. The firm had revenue of $12.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.46 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.22 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.31 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 15th will be paid a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.07%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 12th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 47.01%.

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.

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

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