Global Retirement Partners LLC Acquires 553 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Global Retirement Partners LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.2% during the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 13,806 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 553 shares during the period. Global Retirement Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,129,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 24,053,883 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,995,271,000 after buying an additional 538,791 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.7% in the third quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 20,139,807 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,670,597,000 after buying an additional 2,882,982 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.5% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 19,347,857 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,604,905,000 after buying an additional 653,675 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,957,653 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,002,015,000 after buying an additional 41,706 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.5% in the third quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 12,491,648 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,036,182,000 after buying an additional 308,003 shares during the period. 66.43% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 1st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, December 18th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, November 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, October 16th. Finally, SVB Leerink boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $100.00 to $103.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.36.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $82.34 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $208.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.22, a PEG ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.43. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $81.41 and its 200 day moving average is $81.11. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $65.25 and a 1 year high of $92.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.30 and a quick ratio of 1.00.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 27th. The company reported $1.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.30. The company had revenue of $12.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.21 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 24.33% and a return on equity of 53.83%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.51 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 8th. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 15th were paid a $0.65 dividend. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 14th. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.16%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 50.10%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents for cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases; neuromuscular blocking agents; cholesterol modifying medicines; and anti-bacterial and vaginal contraceptive products.

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

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