Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Holdings Reduced by Quadrant Capital Group LLC

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Quadrant Capital Group LLC lessened its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.3% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 19,825 shares of the company’s stock after selling 882 shares during the period. Quadrant Capital Group LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,491,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of MRK. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,037,262 shares of the company’s stock valued at $305,762,000 after purchasing an additional 157,592 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the second quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 31,696 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,923,000 after purchasing an additional 1,667 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.5% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 14,733,548 shares of the company’s stock valued at $894,326,000 after purchasing an additional 2,406,836 shares during the period. Paloma Partners Management Co grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 652.9% in the second quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 213,050 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,932,000 after purchasing an additional 184,754 shares during the period. Finally, Signaturefd LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 22.9% in the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 20,455 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,242,000 after purchasing an additional 3,810 shares during the period. 74.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, Director Leslie A. Brun sold 3,052 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.22, for a total value of $235,675.44. Following the transaction, the director now owns 5,000 shares in the company, valued at $386,100. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 64,662 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.96, for a total value of $5,105,711.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 388,007 shares of company stock worth $30,371,627. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have commented on MRK. Wolfe Research began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, October 22nd. ValuEngine raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Citigroup raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 31st. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $73.80.

NYSE MRK opened at $78.94 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $213.05 billion, a PE ratio of 18.19, a PEG ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.62. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $52.83 and a 1-year high of $80.19. The company has a current ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, February 1st. The company reported $1.04 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $11 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.93 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 35.10% and a net margin of 14.71%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.98 earnings per share. On average, research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.79%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.69%.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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

See Also: Net Margin

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

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