YHB Investment Advisors Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 21.5% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 16,398 shares of the company’s stock after selling 4,481 shares during the quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,050,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Krilogy Financial LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock worth $201,000 after purchasing an additional 11 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. RB Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% during the second quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 4,587 shares of the company’s stock worth $294,000 after purchasing an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 9,291 shares of the company’s stock worth $595,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.9% during the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 4,313 shares of the company’s stock worth $276,000 after purchasing an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MRK has been the subject of several research reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Jefferies Group restated a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann dropped their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 30th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Citigroup upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.06.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $58.66 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $159,990.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 56.95, 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 twelve month low of $53.63 and a twelve month high of $66.80.

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 analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative return on equity of 0.58% and a negative net margin of 0.49%. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This is a boost 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 3.27%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

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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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