Avantax Planning Partners Inc. Boosts Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Avantax Planning Partners Inc. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 10.9% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 65,656 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 6,459 shares during the quarter. Avantax Planning Partners Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $5,387,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Bromfield Sneider Wealth Advisors bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $79,000. Hikari Power Ltd lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.0% in the first quarter. Hikari Power Ltd now owns 23,630 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,939,000 after buying an additional 1,130 shares during the last quarter. ACG Wealth lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the first quarter. ACG Wealth now owns 13,523 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,110,000 after buying an additional 722 shares during the last quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 36.4% in the first quarter. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC now owns 926 shares of the company’s stock worth $76,000 after buying an additional 247 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WealthBridge Investment Counsel Inc. lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.1% in the first quarter. WealthBridge Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 87,820 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,206,000 after buying an additional 3,475 shares during the last quarter. 72.88% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. UBS Group raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $76.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Cowen raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Daiwa Capital Markets raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $89.00 to $102.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Atlantic Securities raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Cowen raised their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $97.44.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Up 0.7 %

Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $0.59 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $87.41. The stock had a trading volume of 8,801,196 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,488,001. The company has a current ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75. The stock has a market cap of $221.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.39, a P/E/G ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.32. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $70.89 and a 12 month high of $95.72. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $90.27 and a 200 day moving average price of $85.38.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.69 by $0.18. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 50.02% and a net margin of 29.00%. The business had revenue of $14.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.85 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.31 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.31 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.69 per share. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.16%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 42.27%.

Merck & Co., Inc. 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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