Keybank National Association OH lowered its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 1,662,146 shares of the company’s stock after selling 18,489 shares during the quarter. Keybank National Association OH’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $106,427,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after purchasing an additional 3,312,459 shares during the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 71.5% during the 2nd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 6,281,855 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,604,000 after purchasing an additional 2,618,435 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 40.4% during the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,012,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $513,535,000 after purchasing an additional 2,304,142 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 36.3% during the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 7,766,906 shares of the company’s stock worth $497,774,000 after purchasing an additional 2,070,487 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 509.6% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,462,318 shares of the company’s stock worth $157,812,000 after purchasing an additional 2,058,407 shares during the last quarter. 73.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $56.66 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $154,530.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 55.01, a PEG ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $53.63 and a 1 year high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative net margin of 0.49% and a negative return on equity of 0.58%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.07 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.48 per share. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.39%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 186.41%.

MRK has been the subject of several research analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Jefferies Group restated a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann decreased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Citigroup upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Finally, SunTrust Banks lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.29.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.

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

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