State of Tennessee Treasury Department increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 6.8% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 1,609,965 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 101,951 shares during the period. State of Tennessee Treasury Department owned 0.06% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $103,086,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Krilogy Financial LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock worth $201,000 after acquiring an additional 11 shares during the period. Balentine LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares during the period. RB Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 4,587 shares of the company’s stock worth $294,000 after acquiring an additional 23 shares during the period. Bath Savings Trust Co grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 5,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $348,000 after acquiring an additional 28 shares during the period. Finally, Stillwater Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 4,621 shares of the company’s stock worth $296,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the period. 73.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Bank of America assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, November 28th. They set a “buy” rating and a $64.00 target price on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $67.06.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,039,175 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $61.63 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $53.63 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $168,090.00, a PE ratio of 59.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.09 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The firm’s revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.12%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has approved a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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

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