Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 71.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 6,281,855 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 2,618,435 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up approximately 1.2% of Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership’s portfolio, making the stock its 14th biggest holding. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership owned 0.23% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $402,604,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Perennial Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% in the 2nd quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 157 shares during the period. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $104,000. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,727 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 232 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after purchasing an additional 115 shares during the period. Finally, Harbour Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth approximately $127,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.84% of the company’s stock.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of a number of research 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 report on Wednesday, October 11th. Citigroup raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. UBS lowered their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.

Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) traded up $0.77 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $56.34. 9,770,200 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,727,760. The company has a market capitalization of $151,342.47, a PE ratio of 14.28, a P/E/G ratio of 2.57 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $53.63 and a 52-week high of $66.80. 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. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.60% and a return on equity of 27.08%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.07 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current year.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.41%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 112.58%.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION WARNING: “Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Shares Bought by Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership” was first published by Watch List News and is the sole property of of Watch List News. If you are viewing this story on another website, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of United States & international trademark & copyright legislation. The original version of this story can be accessed at https://www.watchlistnews.com/merck-co-inc-mrk-shares-bought-by-arrowstreet-capital-limited-partnership/1759661.html.

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.

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.