Forsta AP Fonden Purchases 52,700 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Forsta AP Fonden lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 9.0% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 637,200 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 52,700 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 0.6% of Forsta AP Fonden’s portfolio, making the stock its 26th largest position. Forsta AP Fonden’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $52,282,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth approximately $14,875,000. Jackson Creek Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth approximately $224,000. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.1% during the 4th quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 49,999 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,832,000 after buying an additional 3,741 shares during the period. Fifth Third Bancorp boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.3% during the 4th quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 803,931 shares of the company’s stock worth $61,613,000 after buying an additional 61,647 shares during the period. Finally, Demars Financial Group LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.4% during the 4th quarter. Demars Financial Group LLC now owns 11,170 shares of the company’s stock worth $856,000 after buying an additional 1,324 shares during the period. 72.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

MRK has been the topic of several recent research reports. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Mizuho began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, June 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. SVB Leerink restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $102.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, June 6th. Cowen boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Finally, UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $76.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $97.44.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Up 0.4 %

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $0.37 during trading on Friday, reaching $87.19. 394,094 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,495,317. The firm has a market capitalization of $220.49 billion, a PE ratio of 13.30, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $90.38 and a 200-day moving average price of $85.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75, a current ratio of 1.40 and a quick ratio of 1.14. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $70.89 and a 1-year high of $95.72.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.69 by $0.18. The business had revenue of $14.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.85 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 29.00% and a return on equity of 50.02%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.31 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.69 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.17%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.27%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

(Get Rating)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

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

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