Evercore Wealth Management LLC Boosts Stock Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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Evercore Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 137,100 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 3,835 shares during the period. Evercore Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $11,496,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 191,863,408 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,087,745,000 after purchasing an additional 4,397,580 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,596,161,000 after purchasing an additional 3,219,877 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter valued at $2,166,688,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.8% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 24,839,949 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,082,840,000 after purchasing an additional 1,790,405 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.1% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 13,431,485 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,026,209,000 after purchasing an additional 653,128 shares during the last quarter. 75.36% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In related news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. 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 approximately $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were 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 company insiders.

Several research firms have commented on MRK. Leerink Swann began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, August 15th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price objective for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 14th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. Finally, Argus increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $93.29.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $82.61 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $84.78 and a 200-day moving average price of $81.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $213.30 billion, a PE ratio of 17.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a current ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $66.10 and a 12-month high of $87.35.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.94 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.10% and a return on equity of 43.34%. The business’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.06 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.66%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 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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