Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado

Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado decreased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.7% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,132,617 shares of the company’s stock after selling 15,879 shares during the quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado owned 0.08% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $165,854,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Cable Hill Partners LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 21.7% in the 2nd quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 10,537 shares of the company’s stock worth $819,000 after purchasing an additional 1,877 shares during the period. GQG Partners LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.4% in the 2nd quarter. GQG Partners LLC now owns 7,187 shares of the company’s stock worth $559,000 after purchasing an additional 1,219 shares during the period. Colonial River Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.8% in the 2nd quarter. Colonial River Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,792 shares of the company’s stock worth $295,000 after purchasing an additional 401 shares during the period. Intellectus Partners LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $555,000. Finally, Cherry Creek Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $243,000. 71.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have commented on the company. Barclays boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $87.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 8th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $82.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 24th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $92.00 price objective (up from $86.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday. Mizuho assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 1st. They set a “buy” rating and a $100.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $85.00 to $88.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $92.18.

Shares of MRK stock traded down $0.21 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $78.74. The company had a trading volume of 380,538 shares, compared to its average volume of 12,310,182. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a current ratio of 1.31. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $76.31 and a 200-day moving average of $76.75. The company has a market capitalization of $199.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.08, a PEG ratio of 2.16 and a beta of 0.41. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $70.89 and a 12-month high of $85.60.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 28th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 50.93% and a net margin of 11.48%. The business had revenue of $11.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.21 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.37 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.51 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, October 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 15th were issued a $0.65 dividend. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.30%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.77%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc engages in the provision of health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. It operates through the following segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, and Other. The Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products.

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

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