WealthTrust Fairport LLC Increases Stock Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

WealthTrust Fairport LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 25,751 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 174 shares during the period. WealthTrust Fairport LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,968,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the business. PRW Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $41,000. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $66,000. Advisors Preferred LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter valued at about $66,000. Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 150.0% during the fourth quarter. Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $76,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vestor Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter valued at about $77,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.08% of the company’s stock.

MRK traded up $0.95 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $84.80. The company had a trading volume of 9,790,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,055,431. The company has a current ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The company has a market capitalization of $216.45 billion, a PE ratio of 19.54, a PEG 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. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $81.77.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 19.50% and a return on equity of 39.85%. The firm had revenue of $10.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.45 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.05 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.74 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 17th will be given a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.69%.

MRK has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, March 4th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, April 1st. ValuEngine cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 18th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $91.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $86.93.

In other news, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.73, for a total value of $1,943,250.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 92,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,198,108.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 276,718 shares of company stock worth $23,257,469. Insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

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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