Jolley Asset Management LLC Has $5.15 Million Stock Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Jolley Asset Management LLC lessened its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 6.2% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 56,645 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,735 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 2.9% of Jolley Asset Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 8th largest position. Jolley Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $5,152,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BancorpSouth Bank boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% in the 3rd quarter. BancorpSouth Bank now owns 50,676 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,266,000 after purchasing an additional 1,538 shares in the last quarter. Lehman & Derafelo Financial Resources LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.1% during the 2nd quarter. Lehman & Derafelo Financial Resources LLC now owns 51,175 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,381,000 after acquiring an additional 2,502 shares during the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 260.4% during the 3rd quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 801,905 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,143,000 after acquiring an additional 579,388 shares during the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.2% in the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 2,519,127 shares of the company’s stock valued at $212,060,000 after buying an additional 123,617 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ashburton Jersey Ltd lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the third quarter. Ashburton Jersey Ltd now owns 210,924 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,756,000 after buying an additional 750 shares during the last quarter. 74.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total value of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 106,099 shares in the company, valued at $9,478,884.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. Royal Bank of Canada assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $99.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 14th. UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $94.00 to $99.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, January 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $96.38.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $2.81 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $85.75. The company had a trading volume of 9,717,986 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,815,827. The stock has a market cap of $228.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.95, a PEG ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.52. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $72.05 and a 1 year high of $92.64. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. The business has a fifty day moving average of $90.26 and a 200 day moving average of $85.77.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. The company had revenue of $12.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 48.16%. The firm’s revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.19 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th were issued a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 13th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.85%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 56.22%.

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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