Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC Purchases 2,013 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 7.2% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 30,003 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,013 shares during the quarter. Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,735,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the business. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth $1,823,028,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 198,224,263 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,191,909,000 after purchasing an additional 10,326,974 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2,671.4% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,099,334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $418,400,000 after purchasing an additional 4,915,334 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 216,096,057 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,730,682,000 after purchasing an additional 4,893,526 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 256.3% in the first quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 4,882,173 shares of the company’s stock worth $400,582,000 after buying an additional 3,511,900 shares in the last quarter. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $87.51 on Friday. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $88.83 and its 200-day simple moving average is $87.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.39. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $71.50 and a one year high of $95.72. The firm has a market cap of $221.69 billion, a PE ratio of 13.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.33.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $14.59 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.85 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.45% and a net margin of 29.00%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.31 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a $0.69 dividend. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.15%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.27%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

Several analysts have recently issued reports on MRK shares. Erste Group Bank raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Atlantic Securities increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $95.00 to $100.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Cowen increased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, June 27th. Finally, UBS Group boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $76.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $98.28.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

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Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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