Menora Mivtachim Holdings LTD. Takes Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Menora Mivtachim Holdings LTD. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor purchased 988,870 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $82,917,000. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up approximately 2.2% of Menora Mivtachim Holdings LTD.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 20th biggest position.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at about $2,166,688,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 194,589,541 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,868,587,000 after purchasing an additional 10,315,510 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.2% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 11,111,444 shares of the company’s stock valued at $924,139,000 after purchasing an additional 3,244,078 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,596,161,000 after purchasing an additional 3,219,877 shares in the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 326.2% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,792,515 shares of the company’s stock valued at $253,498,000 after purchasing an additional 2,902,600 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.34% of the company’s stock.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,274,512.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 103,223 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded down $0.28 on Thursday, reaching $83.12. The company had a trading volume of 221,051 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,473,427. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $66.10 and a twelve month high of $87.07. The company has a 50-day moving average of $83.37. The stock has a market cap of $219.45 billion, a PE ratio of 19.16, a P/E/G ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The company had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.06 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.65%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. Atlantic Securities upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Mizuho restated a “buy” rating and issued a $97.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, August 5th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, May 28th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 target price on the stock. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $91.07.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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