Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. decreased its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 12.5% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 97,877 shares of the company’s stock after selling 14,006 shares during the quarter. Merck & makes up 0.8% of Sumitomo Life Insurance Co.’s portfolio, making the stock its 23rd biggest holding. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $6,273,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Greystone Managed Investments Inc. boosted its position in Merck & by 13.2% in the second quarter. Greystone Managed Investments Inc. now owns 169,236 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,846,000 after purchasing an additional 19,769 shares during the last quarter. Arthur M. Cohen & Associates LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & by 4.2% during the 2nd quarter. Arthur M. Cohen & Associates LLC now owns 46,896 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,923,000 after purchasing an additional 1,908 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan increased its position in shares of Merck & by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 133,070 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,528,000 after purchasing an additional 3,830 shares during the last quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & during the 2nd quarter valued at about $647,000. Finally, FineMark National Bank & Trust increased its position in shares of Merck & by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust now owns 176,772 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,329,000 after purchasing an additional 1,113 shares during the last quarter. 72.92% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) opened at 64.03 on Monday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $63.52 and its 200-day moving average is $63.68. The company has a market cap of $174.63 billion, a PE ratio of 34.67 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 76.11%.

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MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. HSBC Holdings plc upgraded shares of Merck & from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub lowered Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. UBS AG raised their target price on Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.00.

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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