Oxbow Advisors LLC Raises Stock Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Oxbow Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 13.4% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 6,956 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 820 shares during the period. Oxbow Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $633,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 191,863,408 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,087,745,000 after acquiring an additional 4,397,580 shares in the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 159.5% during the fourth quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 2,082,074 shares of the company’s stock worth $189,365,000 after buying an additional 1,279,670 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 116,493,884 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,665,449,000 after buying an additional 1,196,724 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.9% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 10,174,164 shares of the company’s stock worth $856,461,000 after buying an additional 1,080,016 shares in the last quarter. Finally, MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 99.4% during the fourth quarter. MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd now owns 1,405,157 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,747,000 after buying an additional 700,404 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.50% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MRK opened at $82.65 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $88.51 and a 200 day moving average price of $86.15. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. The company has a market capitalization of $208.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $72.23 and a 52-week high of $92.64.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $11.87 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.71 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.76% and a net margin of 21.01%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.04 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 7th. Investors of record on Monday, March 16th will be issued a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 47.01%.

In related news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total value of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,478,884.66. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 13th. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued 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 downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 14th. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, February 5th. Finally, UBS Group lowered their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $99.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $95.75.

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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