Bank of The Ozarks raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.3% during the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 63,956 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,032 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 1.5% of Bank of The Ozarks’ investment portfolio, making the stock its 6th biggest position. Bank of The Ozarks’ holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,882,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Leisure Capital Management increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 75.0% in the second quarter. Leisure Capital Management now owns 13,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $833,000 after acquiring an additional 5,882 shares during the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter worth $673,000. Parthenon LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.1% in the second quarter. Parthenon LLC now owns 153,558 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,321,000 after acquiring an additional 3,224 shares during the last quarter. Buckhead Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.0% in the second quarter. Buckhead Capital Management LLC now owns 17,142 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,041,000 after acquiring an additional 1,830 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital Management Associates NY acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter worth $282,000. 72.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $69.67 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $185.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.37 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $70.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.01 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.26 EPS for the current year.

The firm 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 $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.76%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total transaction of $325,050.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 29,208 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.20, for a total transaction of $1,904,361.60. Following the sale, the insider now owns 70,675 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,608,010. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 396,393 shares of company stock valued at $25,235,061 over the last quarter. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. TheStreet raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, June 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 7th. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 23rd. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, August 16th. Finally, Bank of America upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $67.93.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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