Hanson & Doremus Investment Management lessened its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 18.6% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 28,863 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,581 shares during the period. Hanson & Doremus Investment Management’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,752,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Taylor Wealth Management Partners bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV lifted its holdings 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 acquiring an additional 1,114 shares during the last quarter. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at about $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings 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 acquiring an additional 1,340 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Well Done LLC bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at about $115,000. 72.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $70.72 on Friday. 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 1-year low of $52.83 and a 1-year high of $71.57. The stock has a market capitalization of $190.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.77, a PEG ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 0.81.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th will be given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.24%.

In related news, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total value of $325,050.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,851 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.08, for a total transaction of $19,611,958.08. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 971,801 shares in the company, valued at $68,103,814.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 649,510 shares of company stock worth $44,201,809 over the last three months. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of brokerages recently commented on MRK. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, June 18th. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 7th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. TheStreet raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, June 8th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $68.55.

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 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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