Valueworks LLC decreased its stake in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 21.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 4,699 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,279 shares during the period. Valueworks LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $298,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. CAMG Solamere Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $789,000. Bridgeworth LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $241,000. Clough Capital Partners L P purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $18,173,000. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. now owns 26,868 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,582,000 after buying an additional 1,008 shares during the period. Finally, Empire Life Investments Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $12,604,000. 73.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded up 0.90% on Monday, reaching $62.94. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,187,659 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $63.36 and a 200 day moving average of $63.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 1-year low of $58.29 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $171.66 billion, a PE ratio of 34.08 and a beta of 0.80.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is 76.11%.

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Several equities research analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. Jefferies Group LLC reissued an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target (down previously from $52.00) on shares of Merck & in a research note on Saturday, April 22nd. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 10th. Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective (up from $68.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co lifted their price objective on Merck & from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.58.

About Merck &

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 & (NYSE:MRK)

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