Private Trust Co. NA grew its stake in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 15.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 62,122 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 8,194 shares during the period. Merck & makes up 0.9% of Private Trust Co. NA’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest holding. Private Trust Co. NA’s holdings in Merck & were worth $3,981,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Vigilant Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Merck & by 16.7% during the 1st quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares during the period. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Merck & during the 1st quarter valued at about $127,000. Pinnacle Bank purchased a new position in Merck & during the 1st quarter valued at about $152,000. Dillon & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in Merck & during the 1st quarter valued at about $206,000. Finally, Addison Capital Co purchased a new position in Merck & during the 1st quarter valued at about $218,000. 72.91% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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MRK has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 price target (up from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, May 26th. BidaskClub cut shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.00.

Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.72% during trading on Friday, hitting $65.13. 7,465,921 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $177.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.26 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12-month low of $58.29 and a 12-month high of $66.80. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $63.52 and its 200 day moving average price is $63.68.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.89%. Merck &’s payout ratio is 76.11%.

About Merck &

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 & (NYSE:MRK)

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