Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Position Boosted by GHP Investment Advisors Inc.

GHP Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.9% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 26,457 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 981 shares during the period. GHP Investment Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,694,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Perennial Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 157 shares during the period. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at about $104,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 232 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 115 shares during the period. Finally, Barnett & Company Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 481.6% during the second quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. now owns 2,053 shares of the company’s stock valued at $132,000 after purchasing an additional 1,700 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.63% of the company’s stock.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $57.30 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. The company has a market cap of $156,280.00, a PE ratio of 55.63, a PEG ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $53.63 and a 52-week high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted 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. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative net margin of 0.49% and a negative return on equity of 0.58%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.07 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current year.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.35%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 186.41%.

MRK has been the topic of several research reports. 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. Jefferies Group reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann dropped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Citigroup upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.29.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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