Plancorp LLC Cuts Stake in Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK)

Plancorp LLC lessened its position in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 23,835 shares of the company’s stock after selling 757 shares during the quarter. Plancorp LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $1,529,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH raised its stake in Merck & by 133.4% in the 1st quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 144,247 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,165,000 after purchasing an additional 82,454 shares during the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH raised its stake in Merck & by 41.9% in the 2nd quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 296,294 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,028,000 after purchasing an additional 87,443 shares during the last quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC raised its stake in Merck & by 5.4% in the 1st quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 446,450 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,368,000 after purchasing an additional 22,958 shares during the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new position in Merck & in the 1st quarter valued at about $15,126,000. Finally, Bridges Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Merck & by 18.0% in the 2nd quarter. Bridges Investment Management Inc. now owns 46,436 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,976,000 after purchasing an additional 7,070 shares during the last quarter. 72.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.70% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $65.49. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,381,076 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $178.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.46 and a beta of 0.81. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $63.52 and its 200 day moving average is $63.68. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.93 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is 76.11%.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $51.00 target price on shares of Merck & in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 25th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price target on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.00.

Merck & Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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