Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Shares Sold by Cullen Frost Bankers Inc.

Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. lessened its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 217,611 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,071 shares during the period. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $13,933,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. One Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.5% in the 3rd quarter. One Capital Management LLC now owns 43,197 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,766,000 after acquiring an additional 1,869 shares during the last quarter. Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at about $255,000. Trillium Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% in the 3rd quarter. Trillium Asset Management LLC now owns 448,052 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,689,000 after acquiring an additional 13,650 shares during the last quarter. Rockland Trust Co. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.2% in the 3rd quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 61,260 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,922,000 after acquiring an additional 2,445 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 23.1% in the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 7,751,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $496,326,000 after acquiring an additional 1,453,957 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $56.99 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. The firm has a market cap of $155,430.00, a P/E ratio of 55.33, a PEG ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $53.63 and a one year high of $66.80.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend 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 presently 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of analysts have commented on MRK shares. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Citigroup raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. UBS Group dropped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Two 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 stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.29.

In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were 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 available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

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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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