Renaissance Investment Group LLC reduced its holdings in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.3% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 85,249 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,100 shares during the quarter. Merck & comprises 2.4% of Renaissance Investment Group LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 18th largest position. Renaissance Investment Group LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $5,463,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & by 3.4% in the first quarter. Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. now owns 51,744 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,288,000 after acquiring an additional 1,687 shares in the last quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. increased its position in Merck & by 29.9% during the 1st quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 152,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,670,000 after purchasing an additional 35,021 shares during the period. Washington Trust Bank increased its position in Merck & by 10.4% during the 1st quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 37,754 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,399,000 after purchasing an additional 3,563 shares during the period. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC increased its position in Merck & by 14.4% during the 1st quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 4,736 shares of the company’s stock valued at $301,000 after purchasing an additional 595 shares during the period. Finally, Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware increased its position in Merck & by 0.8% during the 1st quarter. Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware now owns 108,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,894,000 after purchasing an additional 837 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.92% of the company’s stock.

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MRK has been the topic of a number of research reports. HSBC Holdings plc raised shares of Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub cut shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. UBS AG increased their price target on shares of Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.00.

Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded up 0.898% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $64.605. 3,293,351 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average is $63.52 and its 200 day moving average is $63.69. Merck & Company, Inc. has a one year low of $58.29 and a one year high of $66.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $176.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.978 and a beta of 0.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.93 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.94%. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is presently 76.11%.

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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