OptiFour Integrated Wealth Management LLC Sells 1,687 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

OptiFour Integrated Wealth Management LLC trimmed its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 24.5% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 5,187 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,687 shares during the quarter. OptiFour Integrated Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $472,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Smith Asset Management Group LP raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 203.3% during the 2nd quarter. Smith Asset Management Group LP now owns 475,357 shares of the company’s stock valued at $39,859,000 after purchasing an additional 318,627 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 67.7% in the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 6,381,329 shares of the company’s stock valued at $535,075,000 after acquiring an additional 2,576,060 shares during the last quarter. Bernardo Wealth Planning LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Bernardo Wealth Planning LLC now owns 18,478 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,549,000 after acquiring an additional 231 shares during the last quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 584.8% in the 2nd quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. now owns 65,060 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,455,000 after acquiring an additional 55,560 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ETF Managers Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $198,000. 74.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $0.03 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $91.57. 2,326,873 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,950,518. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $72.05 and a twelve month high of $92.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $228.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.52. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $89.80 and a 200 day simple moving average of $85.55. The company has a current ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.27. The business had revenue of $12.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 48.16%. The company’s revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.19 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 16th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 13th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.66%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 56.22%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total value of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of research firms have recently commented on MRK. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 13th. Mizuho restated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, October 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price target on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.69.

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.

Read More: Price to Earnings Ratio (PE) Basics

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

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