Vivaldi Capital Management LLC Purchases 393 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Vivaldi Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 12.2% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 3,620 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 393 shares during the period. Vivaldi Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $303,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings 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 acquiring an additional 3,219,877 shares in the last quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 57.1% in the fourth quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. now owns 417,577 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,907,000 after buying an additional 151,799 shares in the last quarter. Dana Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $7,710,000. Mackay Shields LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 24.8% in the fourth quarter. Mackay Shields LLC now owns 680,277 shares of the company’s stock valued at $51,980,000 after buying an additional 135,042 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lehman & Derafelo Financial Resources LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at $3,652,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.97% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Citigroup raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America set a $97.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, May 28th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 target price on the stock. Leerink Swann initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, August 15th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $93.29.

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

Shares of MRK traded up $1.19 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $85.16. 22,546,994 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,416,208. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $84.92 and its 200 day moving average price is $81.97. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.92. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $66.10 and a twelve month high of $87.35. The company has a market capitalization of $212.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.62, a PEG ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.53.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 business had revenue of $11.76 billion for 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 revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company 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 dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 50.69%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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