State Treasurer State of Michigan reduced its position in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,122,449 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,900 shares during the period. State Treasurer State of Michigan’s holdings in Merck & were worth $71,938,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Banco Santander S.A. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter worth $10,758,000. Guggenheim Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & by 20.0% in the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 1,453,817 shares of the company’s stock worth $85,587,000 after buying an additional 242,679 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & by 28.6% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 6,584,741 shares of the company’s stock worth $387,643,000 after buying an additional 1,463,634 shares during the period. HCR Wealth Advisors purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter worth $541,000. Finally, Congress Asset Management Co. MA purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the fourth quarter worth $49,303,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.73% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded down 0.24% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $62.34. The stock had a trading volume of 3,004,657 shares. The stock has a market cap of $170.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.75 and a beta of 0.80. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $63.56 and its 200 day moving average price is $63.81. 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 data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 25.75% and a net margin of 17.14%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.93 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group LLC restated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price objective (down previously from $52.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Saturday, April 22nd. BMO Capital Markets restated an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & in a research report on Sunday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 10th. Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co boosted their price objective on Merck & from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.80.

In other Merck & news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total value of $317,700.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 14,317 shares in the company, valued at approximately $909,702.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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