IMS Capital Management grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 11.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 11,079 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,180 shares during the quarter. IMS Capital Management’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $672,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth approximately $103,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 208.4% during the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after acquiring an additional 1,340 shares during the last quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 1,114 shares during the last quarter. Well Done LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth approximately $115,000. Finally, Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth approximately $122,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $60.15 to $58.83 in a research report on Monday, April 23rd. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Sunday, July 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, June 7th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Sunday, July 22nd. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, June 8th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.55.

NYSE MRK opened at $70.17 on Tuesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $70.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04. The company has a market capitalization of $186.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 0.80.

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

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.24%.

In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $14,825,915.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 938,788 shares in the company, valued at approximately $61,021,220. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 134,094 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $8,179,734.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,100,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 396,393 shares of company stock valued at $25,235,061. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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