American International Group Inc. Has $515 Million Stake in Merck & Co. (MRK)

American International Group Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 992.8% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 9,152,305 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 8,314,765 shares during the period. Merck & Co. makes up about 1.7% of American International Group Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 22nd biggest position. American International Group Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $515,000,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after acquiring an additional 3,312,459 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,856,484,000 after acquiring an additional 1,834,500 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 7.5% during the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 23,515,877 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,505,621,000 after acquiring an additional 1,631,013 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 18,730,874 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,199,338,000 after acquiring an additional 145,744 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,660,131 shares of the company’s stock worth $938,669,000 after acquiring an additional 95,743 shares during the last quarter. 74.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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In other news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $273,207. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group set a $56.00 price target on Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Monday. Leerink Swann reduced their price objective on Merck & Co. from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Merck & Co. from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.53.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $58.65 on Tuesday. Merck & Co. has a 12-month low of $52.83 and a 12-month high of $66.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $154,141.17, a PE ratio of 14.74, a P/E/G ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 28.61% and a net margin of 6.40%. The business had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.89 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post 4.16 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.27%. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

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Merck & Co. 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. (NYSE:MRK)

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