Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Holdings Raised by Hudock Capital Group LLC

Hudock Capital Group LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 8.6% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 42,637 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,372 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 1.2% of Hudock Capital Group LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 21st largest holding. Hudock Capital Group LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,024,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Rockland Trust Co. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $3,949,000. Sawyer & Company Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% in the 2nd quarter. Sawyer & Company Inc now owns 22,984 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,395,000 after buying an additional 2,215 shares in the last quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 37.0% in the 2nd quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 122,748 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,451,000 after buying an additional 33,153 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.0% in the 2nd quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 924,946 shares of the company’s stock valued at $56,144,000 after buying an additional 91,879 shares in the last quarter. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 217,281 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,189,000 after buying an additional 1,540 shares in the last quarter. 72.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MRK. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 1st. Credit Suisse Group increased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, Citigroup set a $79.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 16th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $71.92.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $74.86 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $202.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 0.73. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $52.83 and a 1-year high of $75.99.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.87 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.48%. As a group, research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 17th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 14th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Roger M. Perlmutter sold 225,443 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.27, for a total transaction of $16,969,094.61. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 366,998 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,623,939.46. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,851 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total transaction of $19,611,958.08. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 971,801 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $68,103,814.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,279,104 shares of company stock valued at $92,845,846. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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