Alethea Capital Management LLC lowered its stake in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 31.9% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 20,516 shares of the company’s stock after selling 9,619 shares during the quarter. Alethea Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $1,314,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. RiverPoint Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter. RiverPoint Capital Management LLC now owns 362,673 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,244,000 after purchasing an additional 9,269 shares during the period. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 1,029,256 shares of the company’s stock valued at $65,965,000 after purchasing an additional 12,471 shares during the period. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 3,381 shares of the company’s stock valued at $217,000 after purchasing an additional 97 shares during the period. Apriem Advisors lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Apriem Advisors now owns 8,146 shares of the company’s stock valued at $522,000 after purchasing an additional 60 shares during the period. Finally, Pax World Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & by 9.6% in the 2nd quarter. Pax World Management LLC now owns 333,794 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,393,000 after purchasing an additional 29,135 shares during the period. 72.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. UBS AG increased their price target on Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price target on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 29th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Citigroup Inc. raised Merck & from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $67.07.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.25% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $55.48 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $151,151.77, a PE ratio of 14.26, a PEG ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a quick ratio of 1.21, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 1-year low of $54.41 and a 1-year high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. Merck &’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.07 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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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