Allred Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.3% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 22,814 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 287 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 1.1% of Allred Capital Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 19th biggest position. Allred Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,892,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at about $102,394,000. Personal Capital Advisors Corp increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.9% in the second quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 75,736 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,857,000 after acquiring an additional 8,048 shares during the period. Capital Asset Advisory Services LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.2% in the first quarter. Capital Asset Advisory Services LLC now owns 8,079 shares of the company’s stock valued at $629,000 after acquiring an additional 1,066 shares during the period. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.1% in the second quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 1,372,241 shares of the company’s stock valued at $106,115,000 after acquiring an additional 209,990 shares during the period. Finally, First PREMIER Bank increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.2% in the second quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 27,864 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,154,000 after acquiring an additional 1,389 shares during the period. 73.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total transaction of $20,360,651.19. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 422,329 shares in the company, valued at $34,221,318.87. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 10,380 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.01, for a total transaction of $861,643.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 280,529 shares of company stock worth $22,761,633 over the last quarter. 0.28% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

MRK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, September 22nd. Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, September 29th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $88.00 target price on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday. Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating and issued a $89.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, June 23rd. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.08.

Shares of MRK stock opened at $79.83 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $65.25 and a 1 year high of $92.64. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $83.27 and its 200-day moving average is $80.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $201.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.47, a PEG ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a current ratio of 1.32, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 22.20% and a return on equity of 52.94%. The company had revenue of $10.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.52 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.30 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 14th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 47.01%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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