Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Shares Sold by Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS

Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS cut its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.5% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 735,191 shares of the company’s stock after selling 86,245 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 0.7% of Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS’s portfolio, making the stock its 26th biggest position. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $41,369,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after buying an additional 3,312,459 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,856,484,000 after buying an additional 1,834,500 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,019,572 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,731,684,000 after buying an additional 801,033 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.5% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 23,515,877 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,505,621,000 after buying an additional 1,631,013 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Partners boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.8% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 18,730,874 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,199,338,000 after buying an additional 145,744 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.60% of the company’s stock.

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In related news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of brokerages recently commented on MRK. Leerink Swann raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, March 12th. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, March 8th. Jefferies Group set a $56.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, February 26th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. Finally, DZ Bank raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.41.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $55.67 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The firm has a market capitalization of $150,096.89, a P/E ratio of 13.99, a PEG ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $53.12 and a 1 year high of $66.41.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.89 EPS. research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.45%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 206.45%.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.

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

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