Benin Management CORP Purchases 1,000 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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Benin Management CORP lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 24.0% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 5,173 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Benin Management CORP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $471,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 191,863,408 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,087,745,000 after acquiring an additional 4,397,580 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 11,408,929 shares of the company’s stock valued at $960,404,000 after buying an additional 171,403 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.2% during the 3rd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 10,846,593 shares of the company’s stock valued at $913,066,000 after buying an additional 338,355 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 10,253,759 shares of the company’s stock valued at $863,162,000 after buying an additional 39,180 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.9% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 10,174,164 shares of the company’s stock valued at $856,461,000 after buying an additional 1,080,016 shares in the last quarter. 74.51% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of MRK opened at $88.56 on Friday. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $90.26 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $85.77. The company has a current ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $72.05 and a 12 month high of $92.64. The company has a market cap of $228.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.74, a P/E/G ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.52.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.16% and a net margin of 20.26%. The business had revenue of $12.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.59 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.19 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th were paid a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.76%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 56.22%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on MRK. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 13th. UBS Group raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $94.00 to $99.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. Bank of America began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price objective for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $99.00 price objective for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $96.38.

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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