Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc. Sells 28,862 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc. reduced its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 22.1% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 101,571 shares of the company’s stock after selling 28,862 shares during the period. Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $5,715,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of MRK. Krilogy Financial LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,000 after buying an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 9,291 shares of the company’s stock valued at $595,000 after buying an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 4,313 shares of the company’s stock valued at $276,000 after buying an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Southeast Asset Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.0% in the second quarter. Southeast Asset Advisors Inc. now owns 5,428 shares of the company’s stock valued at $348,000 after buying an additional 105 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.60% of the company’s stock.

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In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,254,458.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $53.41 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 1.33. The firm has a market cap of $145,917.80, a P/E ratio of 57.43, a P/E/G ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $53.12 and a 12 month high of $66.41.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 28.61%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.89 earnings per share. analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.17 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.59%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 206.45%.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Leerink Swann reduced their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.35.

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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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