Close Asset Management Ltd Sells 2,170 Shares of Merck & Co. (MRK)

Close Asset Management Ltd cut its holdings in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 17.3% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 10,366 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,170 shares during the period. Close Asset Management Ltd’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $584,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. American International Group Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 992.8% in the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 9,152,305 shares of the company’s stock valued at $515,000,000 after purchasing an additional 8,314,765 shares during the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 33,282.9% during the 4th quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 5,941,154 shares of the company’s stock valued at $334,309,000 after acquiring an additional 5,923,357 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 172.3% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,705,564 shares of the company’s stock valued at $429,347,000 after acquiring an additional 4,243,246 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 55.3% during the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 9,623,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $616,185,000 after acquiring an additional 3,428,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,442,709,000 after acquiring an additional 3,312,459 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.62% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Barclays raised shares of Merck & Co. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $62.00 to $64.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 5th. SunTrust Banks raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Goldman Sachs raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $60.15 to $58.83 in a research note on Monday. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $68.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.10.

In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 24,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $1,392,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was 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 owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

NYSE MRK opened at $59.41 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $162,014.05, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.93, a P/E/G ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.78. Merck & Co. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two 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. (NYSE:MRK) last released 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 firm had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. Merck & Co.’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.89 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

About Merck & Co.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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