Stevens Capital Management LP reduced its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 11.6% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 80,231 shares of the company’s stock after selling 10,558 shares during the period. Stevens Capital Management LP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $5,137,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Krilogy Financial LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock worth $201,000 after buying an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. RB Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 4,587 shares of the company’s stock worth $294,000 after buying an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 5,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $348,000 after buying an additional 28 shares in the last quarter. 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 research firms recently weighed in on MRK. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Berenberg Bank restated 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 issued a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price target 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 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $67.06.

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at $6,254,458.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,039,175 over the last three months. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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. The firm has a market capitalization of $168,090.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 59.83, a P/E/G ratio of 3.09 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $53.63 and a 52-week high of $66.80.

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. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.12%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) 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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