Kiwi Wealth Investments Limited Partnership Raises Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Kiwi Wealth Investments Limited Partnership lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 57.6% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 207,137 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 75,669 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 1.7% of Kiwi Wealth Investments Limited Partnership’s holdings, making the stock its 10th biggest position. Kiwi Wealth Investments Limited Partnership’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $15,827,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Martingale Asset Management L P grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% during the third quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 694,680 shares of the company’s stock valued at $49,281,000 after buying an additional 5,121 shares during the last quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.0% during the 3rd quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 32,332 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,293,000 after purchasing an additional 1,531 shares during the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 27.7% during the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 8,288,273 shares of the company’s stock worth $587,970,000 after purchasing an additional 1,796,360 shares during the last quarter. Resources Management Corp CT ADV acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,396,000. Finally, Greenwood Gearhart Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% during the 3rd quarter. Greenwood Gearhart Inc. now owns 121,609 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,627,000 after purchasing an additional 2,707 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.17% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. UBS Group upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $87.00 to $88.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, March 29th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $83.79.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 192,736 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.05, for a total transaction of $15,813,988.80. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 990,451 shares in the company, valued at approximately $81,266,504.55. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. bought 4,121,683 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $16.00 per share, for a total transaction of $65,946,928.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 445,308 shares of company stock valued at $36,421,320 in the last ninety days. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $0.12 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $82.78. The stock had a trading volume of 7,620,994 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,835,730. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.37 and a quick ratio of 1.06. The stock has a market cap of $215.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 0.55. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $59.80 and a 12-month high of $84.27.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.45 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 19.50% and a return on equity of 39.85%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.05 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 8th. Investors of record on Monday, June 17th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 14th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.66%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

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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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