Cypress Capital Management LLC Increases Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Cypress Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 17.0% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 295,861 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 42,910 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 3.2% of Cypress Capital Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its largest holding. Cypress Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $16,648,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Martingale Asset Management L P grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% in the second quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 735,229 shares of the company’s stock worth $47,122,000 after acquiring an additional 43,718 shares during the last quarter. Vantage Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 31.1% in the second quarter. Vantage Investment Advisors LLC now owns 87,203 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,589,000 after acquiring an additional 20,706 shares during the last quarter. Jackson Wealth Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.8% in the second quarter. Jackson Wealth Management LLC now owns 57,127 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,652,000 after acquiring an additional 5,107 shares during the last quarter. CORDA Investment Management LLC. grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. CORDA Investment Management LLC. now owns 229,512 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,709,000 after acquiring an additional 620 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Financial Counselors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.2% in the second quarter. Financial Counselors Inc. now owns 362,755 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,249,000 after acquiring an additional 4,476 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.63% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $53.36 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $147,023.23, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 0.78. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $52.83 and a 52-week high of $66.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.06.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.89 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.60%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 48.24%.

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

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MRK. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. Barclays raised Merck & Co., Inc. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $62.00 to $64.00 in a research report on Thursday. Jefferies Group set a $55.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 23rd. Leerink Swann raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $66.47.

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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.

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

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