Benchmark Financial Wealth Advisors LLC Boosts Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Benchmark Financial Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 11.3% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 3,988 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 406 shares during the period. Benchmark Financial Wealth Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $435,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Constitution Capital LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.9% in the fourth quarter. Constitution Capital LLC now owns 3,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $392,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. Richard P Slaughter Associates Inc boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.8% in the third quarter. Richard P Slaughter Associates Inc now owns 13,532 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,393,000 after acquiring an additional 1,091 shares in the last quarter. Wealthspire Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 37.0% in the third quarter. Wealthspire Advisors LLC now owns 57,526 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,922,000 after acquiring an additional 15,529 shares in the last quarter. Valued Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth $42,000. Finally, AustralianSuper Pty Ltd bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth $15,818,000. 76.07% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Insider Activity

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

Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Down 0.5 %

MRK traded down $0.64 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $130.35. 6,550,741 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,717,681. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $125.24 and a 200 day simple moving average of $113.04. The firm has a market cap of $330.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 935.21, a P/E/G ratio of 0.52 and a beta of 0.38. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $99.14 and a 1 year high of $133.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.25.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate 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 firm had revenue of $14.63 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $14.49 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.62 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.59 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued a $0.77 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $3.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.36%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 2,200.00%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several equities research analysts have commented on the company. UBS Group boosted 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. Truist Financial reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $142.00 target price (up from $139.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, March 28th. TD Cowen raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the company from $125.00 to $135.00 in a report on Thursday, January 4th. TheStreet downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b+” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, March 4th. Finally, StockNews.com raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $129.71.

Get Our Latest Stock Report on Merck & Co., Inc.

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 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.

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

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