Montag A & Associates Inc. Lowers Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Montag A & Associates Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 7.8% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 168,785 shares of the company’s stock after selling 14,268 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 1.1% of Montag A & Associates Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest position. Montag A & Associates Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $17,496,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. First Heartland Consultants Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% in the 3rd quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 9,523 shares of the company’s stock valued at $980,000 after buying an additional 224 shares during the period. Cooper Haims Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.1% during the third quarter. Cooper Haims Advisors LLC now owns 3,106 shares of the company’s stock worth $320,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Nemes Rush Group LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.6% in the third quarter. Nemes Rush Group LLC now owns 117,050 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,050,000 after acquiring an additional 3,002 shares during the period. Navellier & Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.0% in the third quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc. now owns 13,730 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,414,000 after buying an additional 3,994 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ellevest Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% during the 3rd quarter. Ellevest Inc. now owns 15,875 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,634,000 after purchasing an additional 453 shares in the last quarter. 74.59% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 $2,991,346.35. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. BMO Capital Markets upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $132.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, October 27th. TheStreet raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $115.00 to $118.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. TD Cowen upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the company from $125.00 to $135.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, UBS Group increased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $135.00 to $148.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $129.68.

Check Out Our Latest Stock Analysis on Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. Price Performance

NYSE MRK traded down $0.39 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $125.06. The stock had a trading volume of 3,065,469 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,989,509. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $99.14 and a 52-week high of $128.06. The company has a market cap of $316.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 896.07, a P/E/G ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $114.58 and a 200 day simple moving average of $108.49. The company has a quick ratio of 1.12, a current ratio of 1.38 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.09) by $0.12. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 9.07% and a net margin of 0.61%. The business had revenue of $14.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $14.49 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.62 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.77 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $3.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.46%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 2,200.00%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

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

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