RKL Wealth Management LLC Grows Stock Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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RKL Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 11.1% in the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 3,153 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 315 shares during the period. RKL Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $264,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Poplar Forest Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% in the 2nd quarter. Poplar Forest Capital LLC now owns 582,956 shares of the company’s stock valued at $48,881,000 after purchasing an additional 54,909 shares in the last quarter. Rudd International Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $316,000. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 30.8% in the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC now owns 8,284 shares of the company’s stock worth $691,000 after buying an additional 1,952 shares during the last quarter. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.0% in the 2nd quarter. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. now owns 4,501 shares of the company’s stock worth $377,000 after buying an additional 372 shares during the last quarter. Finally, F3Logic LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 14.5% in the 2nd quarter. F3Logic LLC now owns 3,368 shares of the company’s stock worth $283,000 after buying an additional 426 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.05% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, May 28th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 price objective on the stock. Argus upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Bank of America set a $97.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $92.56.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $1.14 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $86.21. 1,692,579 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 9,599,076. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $66.10 and a 1 year high of $87.07. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $83.38 and its 200 day moving average is $80.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.21. The firm has a market cap of $213.69 billion, a PE ratio of 19.86, a PEG ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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