Oakbrook Investments LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 11.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 540,040 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 54,660 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises approximately 2.7% of Oakbrook Investments LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 4th largest holding. Oakbrook Investments LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $45,282,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 194,589,541 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,868,587,000 after acquiring an additional 10,315,510 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17,936.7% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 53,150,490 shares of the company’s stock worth $696,000 after acquiring an additional 52,855,811 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,596,161,000 after acquiring an additional 3,219,877 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.0% in the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 32,497,759 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,483,154,000 after acquiring an additional 951,911 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter worth about $2,166,688,000. Institutional investors own 75.10% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. Mizuho assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $97.00 price objective for the company. Bank of America set a $97.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 11th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 target price on shares of SAP in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $24.00 target price on Urovant Sciences and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 14th. Finally, Atlantic Securities raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $90.36.

MRK stock traded down $0.32 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $81.43. 7,288,563 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 11,150,220. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The stock has a market capitalization of $209.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.76, a P/E/G ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 0.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $62.38 and a 52-week high of $87.07. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $83.19.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.70%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.69%.

In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 25,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated 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 approximately $7,198,108.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 276,718 shares of company stock valued at $23,257,469. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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