Pittenger & Anderson Inc. Raises Stock Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Pittenger & Anderson Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 0.7% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 46,345 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 340 shares during the quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,225,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,823,028,000. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.5% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 198,224,263 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,191,909,000 after acquiring an additional 10,326,974 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2,671.4% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,099,334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $418,400,000 after acquiring an additional 4,915,334 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 216,096,057 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,730,682,000 after acquiring an additional 4,893,526 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 256.3% during the first quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 4,882,173 shares of the company’s stock valued at $400,582,000 after acquiring an additional 3,511,900 shares during the last quarter. 73.33% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

MRK has been the subject of a number of research reports. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Erste Group Bank upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Daiwa Capital Markets upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $89.00 to $102.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Cowen boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, June 27th. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $95.00 to $100.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $98.28.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Up 3.5 %

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $87.51 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $221.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.40, a PEG ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.39. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $71.50 and a one year high of $95.72. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $88.83 and a two-hundred day moving average of $87.81.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $14.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.85 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 29.00% and a return on equity of 48.45%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.31 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.69 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.15%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 42.27%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

(Get Rating)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

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

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