Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 15.0% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 17,123 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,229 shares during the quarter. Merck & makes up about 0.2% of Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 19th biggest position. Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $1,097,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Boston Partners lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Boston Partners now owns 19,935,016 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,266,671,000 after purchasing an additional 500,476 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,564,388 shares of the company’s stock valued at $933,445,000 after purchasing an additional 192,348 shares during the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 13,414,669 shares of the company’s stock valued at $852,368,000 after purchasing an additional 77,344 shares during the last quarter. Sanders Capital LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 4.0% during the 2nd quarter. Sanders Capital LLC now owns 12,052,595 shares of the company’s stock valued at $835,462,000 after purchasing an additional 458,950 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 9,821,563 shares of the company’s stock valued at $624,064,000 after purchasing an additional 41,748 shares during the last quarter. 72.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several analysts have recently commented on the company. BidaskClub lowered Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Merck & currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $67.07.

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Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $56.06 on Monday. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12-month low of $54.41 and a 12-month high of $66.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a quick ratio of 1.21 and a current ratio of 1.50. The company has a market capitalization of $153,333.28, a PE ratio of 14.41, a PEG ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.78.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.82% and a net margin of 11.60%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.07 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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