CENTRAL TRUST Co decreased its stake in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.2% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 118,622 shares of the company’s stock after selling 185 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co’s holdings in Merck & were worth $7,602,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Merck & by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. now owns 52,007 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,333,000 after buying an additional 263 shares during the period. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC increased its stake in Merck & by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC now owns 244,795 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,689,000 after buying an additional 2,474 shares during the period. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. increased its stake in Merck & by 514.1% during the 2nd quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 452,505 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,001,000 after buying an additional 378,815 shares during the period. BTR Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Merck & by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. BTR Capital Management Inc. now owns 96,522 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,186,000 after buying an additional 520 shares during the period. Finally, Woodstock Corp increased its stake in Merck & by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. Woodstock Corp now owns 131,517 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,429,000 after buying an additional 3,890 shares during the period. 72.92% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded down 0.08% on Friday, hitting $64.55. 7,488,442 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $176.05 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.95 and a beta of 0.80. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $64.27 and its 200-day moving average price is $63.68. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12-month low of $58.29 and a 12-month high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. Merck &’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. Analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th were paid a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.91%. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 76.11%.

Several research firms have commented on MRK. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. BidaskClub raised shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 target price on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, UBS AG raised their target price on shares of Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.81.

Merck & 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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