Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. Trims Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. reduced its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 101,166 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,731 shares during the quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $9,223,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. 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 worth $17,730,682,000 after purchasing an additional 4,893,526 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.0% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 204,122,526 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,748,252,000 after purchasing an additional 5,898,263 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.7% during the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 118,668,673 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,174,491,000 after purchasing an additional 3,132,078 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.9% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 32,792,528 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,690,627,000 after purchasing an additional 1,822,084 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.7% during the first quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 30,079,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,468,037,000 after purchasing an additional 1,077,042 shares in the last quarter. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. Price Performance

MRK stock opened at $87.51 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.39, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. The company has a market capitalization of $221.69 billion, a PE ratio of 13.40, a P/E/G ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.33. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $71.50 and a 12-month high of $95.72. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $88.83 and its 200 day moving average price is $87.81.

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

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

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

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

MRK has been the subject of several research reports. UBS Group boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $76.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, July 18th. SVB Leerink boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $109.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Daiwa Capital Markets raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $89.00 to $102.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Atlantic Securities boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Cowen boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $98.28.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

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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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