Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Raymond James Trust N.A.

Raymond James Trust N.A. reduced its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 279,831 shares of the company’s stock after selling 10,498 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up about 0.9% of Raymond James Trust N.A.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 20th biggest position. Raymond James Trust N.A.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $25,512,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. E&G Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. E&G Advisors LP now owns 16,378 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,493,000 after buying an additional 110 shares in the last quarter. Paulson Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% in the 1st quarter. Paulson Wealth Management Inc. now owns 6,144 shares of the company’s stock valued at $504,000 after buying an additional 115 shares during the period. Private Management Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 28,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,366,000 after purchasing an additional 117 shares in the last quarter. Disciplined Investments LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 24.3% in the 1st quarter. Disciplined Investments LLC now owns 604 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,000 after purchasing an additional 118 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pegasus Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. now owns 34,987 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,871,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. 73.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several research firms have recently commented on MRK. SVB Leerink boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $109.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Cowen boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, June 27th. Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $95.00 to $100.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Atlantic Securities boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $98.28.

Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Up 3.5 %

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $87.51 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.39, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $71.50 and a 12-month high of $95.72. The firm has a market capitalization of $221.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.40, a PEG ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.33. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $88.83 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $87.81.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 29.00% and a return on equity of 48.45%. The business had revenue of $14.59 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.85 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.31 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.69 dividend. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 42.27%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

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

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