Nisa Investment Advisors LLC Acquires 10,060 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.9% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 1,112,496 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 10,060 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 0.7% of Nisa Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 24th biggest holding. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $78,920,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Bainco International Investors boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.8% in the third quarter. Bainco International Investors now owns 157,897 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,201,000 after acquiring an additional 2,741 shares in the last quarter. Tealwood Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.8% in the third quarter. Tealwood Asset Management Inc. now owns 89,283 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,334,000 after acquiring an additional 7,240 shares in the last quarter. American Economic Planning Group Inc. ADV boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 29.1% in the third quarter. American Economic Planning Group Inc. ADV now owns 8,706 shares of the company’s stock valued at $618,000 after acquiring an additional 1,965 shares in the last quarter. DORCHESTER WEALTH MANAGEMENT Co boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.5% in the third quarter. DORCHESTER WEALTH MANAGEMENT Co now owns 15,301 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,085,000 after acquiring an additional 1,460 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sabal Trust CO boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% in the third quarter. Sabal Trust CO now owns 404,813 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,717,000 after acquiring an additional 11,537 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.32% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares in the company, valued at $7,018,000. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. acquired 666,666 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 1st. The shares were bought at an average price of $15.00 per share, with a total value of $9,999,990.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 1,279,104 shares of company stock valued at $92,845,846 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:MRK opened at $74.86 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $52.83 and a 12 month high of $75.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.44 and a quick ratio of 1.04. The firm has a market cap of $202.43 billion, a PE ratio of 17.54, a P/E/G ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 0.73.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.48%. The business had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.87 billion. On average, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 5.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on MRK shares. SunTrust Banks raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $77.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Bank of America raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 23rd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $71.92.

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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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