Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust of NJ Decreases Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust of NJ lowered its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.0% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 36,000 shares of the company’s stock after selling 4,000 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for approximately 1.0% of Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust of NJ’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 21st largest position. Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust of NJ’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,305,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Perennial Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at about $104,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% during the second quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 232 shares in the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $127,000. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Citigroup upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. UBS Group decreased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $56.34 on Wednesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $53.63 and a 1 year high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $153,660.00, a PE ratio of 54.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.91 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.07 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.41%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 186.41%.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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 & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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