Blue Chip Partners Inc. lowered its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 7.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 37,125 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,070 shares during the period. Blue Chip Partners Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,254,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the business. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% in the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after purchasing an additional 1,114 shares in the last quarter. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 208.4% in the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 1,340 shares in the last quarter. Well Done LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at $115,000. Finally, Norway Savings Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $132,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.02% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently commented on MRK. TheStreet upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, June 8th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 7th. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 15th. Finally, Bank of America boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company 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 issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $66.55.

Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $69.06 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $178.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.35, a P/E/G ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 0.80. 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 12-month low of $52.83 and a 12-month high of $69.24.

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

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

In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $14,825,915.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 938,788 shares in the company, valued at approximately $61,021,220. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 134,094 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total transaction of $8,179,734.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 100,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,100,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 396,393 shares of company stock worth $25,235,061. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Merck & Co., Inc. 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: Stock Symbols and CUSIP Explained

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

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