Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) Stake Boosted by Pictet Asset Management Ltd.

Pictet Asset Management Ltd. boosted its stake in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 28.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 2,448,574 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 547,202 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. owned 0.09% of Merck & worth $155,582,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Intellectus Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter valued at about $103,000. Vigilant Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 16.7% in the first quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 41.3% in the first quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 2,306 shares of the company’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 674 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Bank purchased a new position in shares of Merck & during the first quarter valued at about $152,000. Finally, Tortoise Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 50.6% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 2,678 shares of the company’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. 73.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) opened at 61.49 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $167.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.29 and a beta of 0.80. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $62.91 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.83. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 1-year low of $58.29 and a 1-year high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.06%. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is presently 76.11%.

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Several brokerages have issued reports on MRK. BidaskClub cut Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. HSBC Holdings plc raised Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. UBS AG raised their target price on Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.58.

Merck & Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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