Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Stake Boosted by Buffington Mohr McNeal

Buffington Mohr McNeal raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 12.6% in the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 11,611 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,299 shares during the quarter. Buffington Mohr McNeal’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $963,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 89.9% during the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 18,381,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,404,356,000 after purchasing an additional 8,699,890 shares during the period. Point72 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $278,124,000. Sarasin & Partners LLP grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 458.4% during the 2nd quarter. Sarasin & Partners LLP now owns 1,814,710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,332,000 after acquiring an additional 1,489,720 shares in the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 36.9% in the second quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 5,153,530 shares of the company’s stock worth $398,522,000 after acquiring an additional 1,390,378 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ceredex Value Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter worth $102,394,000. 73.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

NYSE:MRK traded down $0.85 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $77.99. The stock had a trading volume of 11,383,030 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,607,021. The stock has a market capitalization of $197.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.02, a PEG ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 0.43. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $65.25 and a 1-year high of $92.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 1.32 and a quick ratio of 1.05. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $81.90 and its 200-day simple moving average is $80.55.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. The company had revenue of $10.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.52 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 22.20% and a return on equity of 52.94%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.30 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.01%.

In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total transaction of $20,360,651.19. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 422,329 shares in the company, valued at $34,221,318.87. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 10,380 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.01, for a total value of $861,643.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 280,529 shares of company stock valued at $22,761,633. 0.28% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

MRK has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, August 4th. Truist initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $96.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 1st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 16th. Finally, SVB Leerink increased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.14.

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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