First Financial Corp IN trimmed its stake in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 12,381 shares of the company’s stock after selling 200 shares during the quarter. First Financial Corp IN’s holdings in Merck & were worth $793,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. HM Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & by 0.4% during the first quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,734 shares of the company’s stock valued at $236,000 after purchasing an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. RB Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 4,587 shares of the company’s stock valued at $294,000 after purchasing an additional 23 shares during the period. Bath Savings Trust Co boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 5,427 shares of the company’s stock valued at $348,000 after purchasing an additional 28 shares during the period. City Holding Co. boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 7,767 shares of the company’s stock valued at $494,000 after purchasing an additional 31 shares during the period. Finally, Camelot Portfolios LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. Camelot Portfolios LLC now owns 7,771 shares of the company’s stock valued at $494,000 after purchasing an additional 33 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.92% of the company’s stock.

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A number of brokerages recently weighed in on MRK. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 price objective (down from $75.00) on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Merck & in a report on Sunday, August 20th. Finally, HSBC Holdings plc upgraded shares of Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.00.

Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.86% during trading on Monday, reaching $64.58. The company had a trading volume of 3,303,782 shares. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $176.13 billion, a PE ratio of 34.96 and a beta of 0.80. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $63.52 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.68.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.93 earnings per share. Merck &’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.94%. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is 76.11%.

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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