Wedge Capital Management L L P NC reduced its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 17.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 709,807 shares of the company’s stock after selling 150,036 shares during the period. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $45,101,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Merck & by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 12,753,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $750,807,000 after buying an additional 506,952 shares in the last quarter. First PREMIER Bank boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 2.7% in the first quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 21,475 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,364,000 after buying an additional 570 shares during the last quarter. Agran Libbie boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 83.0% in the first quarter. Agran Libbie now owns 11,918 shares of the company’s stock valued at $757,000 after buying an additional 5,404 shares during the last quarter. Doyle Wealth Management bought a new stake in shares of Merck & during the first quarter valued at $4,652,000. Finally, Sfmg LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & by 4.9% in the first quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 21,582 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,371,000 after buying an additional 1,011 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.00% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded up 0.294% on Monday, reaching $63.125. The company had a trading volume of 1,470,012 shares. 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 $172.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.177 and a beta of 0.80. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $62.73 and its 200-day moving average price is $63.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.93 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is currently 76.11%.

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MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 10th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Vetr cut Merck & from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.99 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, May 17th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 29th. 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. Merck & currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.63.

Merck & 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 & (NYSE:MRK)

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