Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Position Decreased by Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS

Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS reduced its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.1% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 821,436 shares of the company’s stock after selling 17,969 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 0.9% of Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS’s holdings, making the stock its 18th biggest holding. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $52,597,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

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

In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the subject of several research reports. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Bank of America initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $64.00 target price for the company. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Jefferies Group downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, SunTrust Banks downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.29.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $56.99 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $53.63 and a one year high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $155,430.00, a P/E ratio of 55.33, a P/E/G ratio of 2.80 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 released its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the 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 business had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.37%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 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.

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

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