Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Stock Position Decreased by Sandy Spring Bank

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Sandy Spring Bank cut its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 10.9% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 61,510 shares of the company’s stock after selling 7,550 shares during the quarter. Sandy Spring Bank’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $5,157,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Stillwater Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.6% during the second quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 4,796 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,000 after acquiring an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% during the second quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC now owns 43,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,671,000 after acquiring an additional 126 shares in the last quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% during the second quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC now owns 40,683 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,411,000 after acquiring an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. Hyman Charles D raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the second quarter. Hyman Charles D now owns 31,274 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,622,000 after acquiring an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kidder Stephen W raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% during the second quarter. Kidder Stephen W now owns 7,065 shares of the company’s stock worth $592,000 after acquiring an additional 130 shares in the last quarter. 75.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research firms have weighed in on MRK. Argus raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Citigroup raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Mizuho restated a “buy” rating and set a $97.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, August 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 14th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $91.07.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded down $0.23 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $83.17. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 248,311 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,473,427. The firm has a market capitalization of $219.45 billion, a PE ratio of 19.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 0.56. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $83.37. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $66.10 and a fifty-two week high of $87.07. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The firm’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.06 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,274,512.54. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at $8,783,245.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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.

See Also: Net Margin – Understanding the Different Kinds of Profit

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

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