Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management Boosts Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 6.5% during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 15,885 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 975 shares during the quarter. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $865,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,848,368 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,401,418,000 after purchasing an additional 1,255,336 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 58.4% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 43,221,157 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,432,154,000 after purchasing an additional 15,932,771 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 29,116,826 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,634,999,000 after purchasing an additional 957,657 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 11,698,584 shares of the company’s stock valued at $658,298,000 after purchasing an additional 597,089 shares during the last quarter. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 11,074,841 shares of the company’s stock valued at $623,182,000 after purchasing an additional 64,887 shares during the last quarter. 72.99% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $60.72 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.42, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $52.83 and a 12-month high of $66.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $164.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.26, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.05. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 30.93% and a net margin of 4.31%. The firm had revenue of $10.04 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.09 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be paid a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.16%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 134,094 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $8,179,734.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,100,000. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 9,972 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.66, for a total value of $594,929.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 168,066 shares of company stock worth $10,166,664. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several research firms have weighed in on MRK. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, June 18th. TheStreet raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, June 8th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 26th. Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $60.15 to $58.83 in a research note on Monday, April 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $66.05.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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