Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC Has $6.36 Million Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 17.4% during the third quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 99,267 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 14,710 shares during the quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $6,356,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Stelac Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the 2nd quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 232 shares in the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Barnett & Company Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 481.6% during the 2nd quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. now owns 2,053 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after acquiring an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. 73.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $62.03 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $53.63 and a 12-month high of $66.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $169,105.80, a P/E ratio of 37.14, a P/E/G ratio of 3.10 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. The company’s quarterly 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 was paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.48 per share. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 114.97%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

MRK has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Cowen reissued a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. ValuEngine raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $67.06.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on 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 a total of 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.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

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.

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

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