Pittenger & Anderson Inc. Increases Stock Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Pittenger & Anderson Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 46,345 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 340 shares during the quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,225,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Landmark Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at about $25,000. Joseph P. Lucia & Associates LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at about $25,000. Front Row Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 89.4% during the 4th quarter. Front Row Advisors LLC now owns 339 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 160 shares in the last quarter. Okabena Investment Services Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $27,000. Finally, Western Pacific Wealth Management LP purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $29,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.33% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Price Performance

Shares of MRK opened at $87.51 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $88.83 and a 200-day moving average price of $87.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $71.50 and a fifty-two week high of $95.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $221.69 billion, a PE ratio of 13.40, a PEG ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.33. 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. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 29.00% and a return on equity of 48.45%. The firm had revenue of $14.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.85 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.31 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

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

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Atlantic Securities upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $110.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Cowen upped 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. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, June 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. Finally, UBS Group upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $76.00 to $98.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, July 18th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $98.28.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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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