Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm bought 22,866 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,388,000. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 1.0% of Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV’s holdings, making the stock its 23rd biggest holding.

A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. CORDA Investment Management LLC. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 30.1% in the 4th quarter. CORDA Investment Management LLC. now owns 292,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,466,000 after purchasing an additional 67,776 shares in the last quarter. Investors Research Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $791,000. Yorktown Management & Research Co Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 244.4% in the 4th quarter. Yorktown Management & Research Co Inc now owns 15,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $872,000 after purchasing an additional 11,000 shares in the last quarter. Bell & Brown Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $1,591,000. Finally, Icon Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at $253,000. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on MRK. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Bank of America raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $67.24.

NYSE MRK opened at $69.04 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.33. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $52.83 and a twelve month high of $70.25. The firm has a market cap of $186.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.35, a PEG ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 0.80.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 48.24%.

In related news, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total transaction of $325,050.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 396,393 shares of company stock worth $25,235,061. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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.

Read More: Understanding Average Daily Trade Volume

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.