Focused Wealth Management Inc lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 71.1% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 9,393 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,904 shares during the quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $718,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of MRK. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the third quarter valued at $118,000. Prentiss Smith & Co. Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.1% in the third quarter. Prentiss Smith & Co. Inc. now owns 4,793 shares of the company’s stock valued at $340,000 after acquiring an additional 700 shares during the period. Stillwater Capital Advisors LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% in the third quarter. Stillwater Capital Advisors LLC now owns 248,579 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,634,000 after acquiring an additional 2,249 shares during the period. Spinnaker Trust grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.6% in the third quarter. Spinnaker Trust now owns 64,891 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,603,000 after acquiring an additional 2,233 shares during the period. Finally, M. Kraus & Co grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.7% in the third quarter. M. Kraus & Co now owns 8,855 shares of the company’s stock valued at $628,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.55% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, March 4th. Argus upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Citigroup set a $65.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $77.06.

In related news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.96, for a total value of $759,600.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 18,725 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.00, for a total value of $1,535,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 816,440 shares in the company, valued at approximately $66,948,080. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 709,324 shares of company stock worth $56,162,582. 0.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of MRK stock opened at $81.57 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.17, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. The firm has a market cap of $219.71 billion, a PE ratio of 18.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 0.62. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $52.83 and a 52 week high of $82.12.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, February 1st. The company reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $11 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.93 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 36.83% and a net margin of 14.71%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.98 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.65 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 50.69%.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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