First United Bank Trust cut its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.4% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 3,031 shares of the company’s stock after selling 353 shares during the quarter. First United Bank Trust’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $251,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of MRK. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.2% during the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 2,591,741 shares of the company’s stock worth $199,409,000 after buying an additional 79,468 shares during the period. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 117,343,358 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,098,570,000 after acquiring an additional 849,474 shares during the last quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.3% in the 1st quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 2,963,475 shares of the company’s stock worth $228,010,000 after acquiring an additional 227,059 shares during the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth approximately $169,000. Finally, Malaga Cove Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $247,000. 73.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on MRK. SVB Leerink lifted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 25th. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 1st. Morgan Stanley reissued a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, June 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday. Finally, Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, September 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $95.08.

In other news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 10,380 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.01, for a total transaction of $861,643.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total transaction of $20,360,651.19. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 422,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $34,221,318.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 280,529 shares of company stock worth $22,761,633. Company insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

NYSE MRK opened at $79.83 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $65.25 and a 52 week high of $92.64. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $83.27 and a two-hundred day moving average of $80.42. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $201.91 billion, a PE ratio of 19.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.43.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.23. The firm had revenue of $10.87 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.52 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 22.20% and a return on equity of 52.94%. The company’s revenue was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.30 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 14th. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.06%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.01%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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