WealthShield Partners LLC Purchases 1,987 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

WealthShield Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 9.5% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 22,913 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,987 shares during the quarter. WealthShield Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,516,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 103,159.7% during the fourth quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 39,327,490 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,363,385,000 after purchasing an additional 39,289,404 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $2,736,293,000. Wellington Management Group LLP grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.7% during the third quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 82,442,666 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,487,472,000 after purchasing an additional 5,196,914 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2,671.4% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,099,334 shares of the company’s stock worth $418,400,000 after purchasing an additional 4,915,334 shares during the period. Finally, Barclays PLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 184.5% during the second quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 7,254,914 shares of the company’s stock worth $837,144,000 after purchasing an additional 4,705,004 shares during the period. 76.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. Price Performance

Shares of MRK traded down $0.40 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $129.95. The stock had a trading volume of 4,891,299 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,651,750. The company’s 50-day moving average is $125.45 and its 200 day moving average is $113.20. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12-month low of $99.14 and a 12-month high of $133.10. The company has a current ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The company has a market capitalization of $329.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 929.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.52 and a beta of 0.38.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by $0.12. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 9.33% and a net margin of 0.61%. The company had revenue of $14.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.49 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.62 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a $0.77 dividend. This represents a $3.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.37%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 2,200.00%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Truist Financial reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $142.00 price objective (up previously from $139.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, March 28th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $135.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, March 27th. UBS Group lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $135.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 27th. Finally, Societe Generale lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $104.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, March 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $129.71.

Check Out Our Latest Research Report on MRK

Insider Activity

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total transaction of $124,890.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,443,972.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total transaction of $124,890.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,443,972.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total value of $6,420,395.10. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,991,346.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

(Free Report)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes under the Keytruda, Bridion, Adempas, Lagevrio, Belsomra, Simponi, and Januvia brands, as well as vaccine products consisting of preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines under the Gardasil/Gardasil 9, ProQuad, M-M-R II, Varivax, RotaTeq, Live Oral, Vaxneuvance, Pneumovax 23, and Vaqta names.

See Also

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

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