Wills Financial Group Inc. Sells 10,308 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Wills Financial Group Inc. lessened its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 48.9% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 10,761 shares of the company’s stock after selling 10,308 shares during the period. Wills Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $653,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Taylor Wealth Management Partners acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth approximately $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% during the second quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter worth approximately $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 208.4% during the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 1,340 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Well Done LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the first quarter worth approximately $115,000. 72.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $14,825,915.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 938,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $61,021,220. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total transaction of $20,168,789.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares in the company, valued at $70,037,626. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 929,360 shares of company stock worth $64,370,599. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 15th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Bank of America raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $70.24.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $71.82 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04. The company has a market capitalization of $191.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.05, a P/E/G ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $72.89.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.03. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.28 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.01 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th were paid a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.67%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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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