Global Retirement Partners LLC Buys 430 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Global Retirement Partners LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 7.7% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 5,989 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 430 shares during the period. Global Retirement Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $458,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 17,936.7% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 53,150,490 shares of the company’s stock valued at $696,000 after buying an additional 52,855,811 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 323.1% in the 4th quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 15,777,286 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,205,542,000 after buying an additional 12,048,406 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 194,589,541 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,868,587,000 after buying an additional 10,315,510 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,596,161,000 after buying an additional 3,219,877 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 326.2% in the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,792,515 shares of the company’s stock valued at $253,498,000 after buying an additional 2,902,600 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.08% of the company’s stock.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. purchased 4,121,683 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $16.00 per share, for a total transaction of $65,946,928.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 276,718 shares of company stock worth $23,257,469. 0.27% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Citigroup upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. Bank of America upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $91.00 to $96.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 14th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $86.93.

Shares of MRK stock traded up $0.95 on Monday, reaching $84.80. The stock had a trading volume of 9,790,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,055,431. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $81.77. The stock has a market capitalization of $216.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 0.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $59.92 and a 12 month high of $86.50.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. The company had revenue of $10.82 billion for 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%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.05 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 17th will be issued a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 14th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.59%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 50.69%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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