OLD Republic International Corp held its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 451,500 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the first quarter. OLD Republic International Corp’s holdings in Merck & were worth $28,688,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sanders Capital LLC raised its position in Merck & by 3.3% in the first quarter. Sanders Capital LLC now owns 11,593,645 shares of the company’s stock valued at $752,482,000 after buying an additional 365,276 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia raised its position in Merck & by 183.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 1,200,139 shares of the company’s stock valued at $76,255,000 after buying an additional 777,044 shares during the last quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. raised its position in Merck & by 2.1% in the first quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 28,813 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,831,000 after buying an additional 604 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC raised its position in Merck & by 18.8% in the first quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 103,395 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,618,000 after buying an additional 16,383 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Adalta Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & during the first quarter valued at $4,844,000. 73.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.2783% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $62.8444. 1,219,557 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $63.26 and its 200-day moving average price is $63.85. The stock has a market capitalization of $171.40 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.0251 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12-month low of $58.29 and a 12-month high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.93 EPS. Merck &’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.11%.

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Several research firms recently weighed in on MRK. HSBC Holdings plc raised shares of Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. UBS AG lifted their price objective 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. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $69.58.

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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