J.P. Marvel Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 39,270 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. J.P. Marvel Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $2,495,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Vigilant Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 16.7% in the first quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & during the first quarter worth $127,000. Gradient Investments LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 41.3% in the first quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 2,306 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 674 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & during the first quarter worth $152,000. Finally, Tortoise Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 50.6% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 2,678 shares of the company’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.46% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded up 0.58% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $62.86. 1,285,871 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $171.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.03 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 1-year low of $58.29 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $63.16 and its 200 day moving average is $63.86.

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

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is presently 76.11%.

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MRK has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. Vetr cut shares of Merck & from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.99 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 target price on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.58.

About Merck &

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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