Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Position Boosted by Pictet & Cie Europe SA

Pictet & Cie Europe SA lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 27.2% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 21,330 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 4,560 shares during the quarter. Pictet & Cie Europe SA’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,366,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after acquiring an additional 3,312,459 shares in the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 71.5% in the 2nd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 6,281,855 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,604,000 after acquiring an additional 2,618,435 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 40.4% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,012,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $513,535,000 after acquiring an additional 2,304,142 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 36.3% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 7,766,906 shares of the company’s stock worth $497,774,000 after acquiring an additional 2,070,487 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 509.6% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,462,318 shares of the company’s stock worth $157,812,000 after acquiring an additional 2,058,407 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.68% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) opened at $61.28 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $53.63 and a one year high of $66.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.43. The firm has a market capitalization of $166,544.84, a PE ratio of 15.72, a PEG ratio of 3.06 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The company had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.07 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.13%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 114.97%.

In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $3,697,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,039,175 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the subject of several research analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. UBS Group reduced their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $67.06.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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

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