Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI Has $53.85 Million Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI reduced its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 642,158 shares of the company’s stock after selling 14,846 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 1.1% of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI’s portfolio, making the stock its 14th biggest position. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $53,845,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Titan Capital Management LLC CA acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth about $25,000. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA grew its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% in the 2nd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares during the period. JJJ Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Cumberland Partners Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $40,000. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Institutional investors own 74.97% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at approximately $30,274,512.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, May 28th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. Societe Generale set a $105.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Leerink Swann started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, August 15th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price objective for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $93.29.

NYSE:MRK traded up $1.43 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $85.40. 8,451,386 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,392,823. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $66.10 and a twelve month high of $87.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $84.89 and a 200 day moving average of $81.95. The stock has a market cap of $211.26 billion, a PE ratio of 19.68, a PEG ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.53.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.06 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.58%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.69%.

Merck & Co., Inc. 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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