Jacobi Capital Management LLC Raises Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Jacobi Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 49.1% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 6,167 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,030 shares during the period. Jacobi Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $397,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Hanson McClain Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 65.0% during the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 7,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $491,000 after buying an additional 3,019 shares during the last quarter. Honeywell International Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% during the third quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 633,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,576,000 after buying an additional 100,500 shares during the last quarter. Trust Co raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.8% during the first quarter. Trust Co now owns 68,789 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,371,000 after buying an additional 1,852 shares during the last quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.5% during the second quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC now owns 44,558 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,856,000 after buying an additional 3,861 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Crescent Grove Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at about $1,092,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.68% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $62.07 on Wednesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $53.63 and a 52 week 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 company has a market cap of $169,290.00, a P/E ratio of 60.26, a PEG ratio of 2.93 and a beta of 0.76.

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

The business 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. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. SunTrust Banks raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Tuesday. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann lowered their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $69.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.82.

In related news, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,039,175 over the last 90 days. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.

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

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