Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. decreased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 21.5% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 790,296 shares of the company’s stock after selling 216,301 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 1.1% of Tocqueville Asset Management L.P.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 14th largest position. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $71,877,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. BancorpSouth Bank lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% during the third quarter. BancorpSouth Bank now owns 50,676 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,266,000 after purchasing an additional 1,538 shares in the last quarter. Lehman & Derafelo Financial Resources LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.1% during the second quarter. Lehman & Derafelo Financial Resources LLC now owns 51,175 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,381,000 after buying an additional 2,502 shares during the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 260.4% during the third quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 801,905 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,143,000 after buying an additional 579,388 shares during the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.2% during the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 2,519,127 shares of the company’s stock valued at $212,060,000 after buying an additional 123,617 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ashburton Jersey Ltd raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the third quarter. Ashburton Jersey Ltd now owns 210,924 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,756,000 after buying an additional 750 shares during the last quarter. 74.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on MRK. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price objective on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. ValuEngine cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.69.

MRK traded up $0.42 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $89.93. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,230,637 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,754,415. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $89.62 and its 200-day moving average price is $85.49. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $72.05 and a 12 month high of $92.64. The stock has a market cap of $227.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.72, a P/E/G ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.52. The company has a current ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 48.16%. The company had revenue of $12.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.59 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.19 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.15 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 16th were given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 13th. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 56.22%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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