Private Capital Advisors Inc. cut its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 29.3% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 9,149 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,800 shares during the quarter. Private Capital Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $586,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Krilogy Financial LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,129 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,000 after purchasing an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Balentine LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% in the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. RB Capital Management LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the second quarter. RB Capital Management LLC now owns 4,587 shares of the company’s stock valued at $294,000 after purchasing an additional 23 shares during the last quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the second quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 5,427 shares of the company’s stock valued at $348,000 after purchasing an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Camelot Portfolios LLC raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the first quarter. Camelot Portfolios LLC now owns 7,771 shares of the company’s stock valued at $494,000 after purchasing an additional 33 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $56.22 on Tuesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $53.63 and a one year high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $153,222.34, a P/E ratio of 14.46, a P/E/G ratio of 2.90 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.42%. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 114.97%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total value of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. BMO Capital Markets set a $68.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. TheStreet cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Monday, November 27th. Bank of America assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $64.00 price target for the company. Deutsche Bank decreased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $62.00 to $59.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 24th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.29.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

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.

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

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