Meridian Investment Counsel Inc. Grows Holdings in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Meridian Investment Counsel Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.1% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 5,057 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 3 shares during the period. Meridian Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $321,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & by 5.4% during the first quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 446,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,368,000 after buying an additional 22,958 shares in the last quarter. First PREMIER Bank boosted its holdings in Merck & by 2.7% during the first quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 21,475 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,364,000 after buying an additional 570 shares in the last quarter. Agran Libbie lifted its position in shares of Merck & by 83.0% in the 1st quarter. Agran Libbie now owns 11,918 shares of the company’s stock valued at $757,000 after acquiring an additional 5,404 shares in the last quarter. Sfmg LLC lifted its position in shares of Merck & by 4.9% in the 1st quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 21,582 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,371,000 after acquiring an additional 1,011 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Doyle Wealth Management purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $4,652,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.02% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded up 0.06% on Friday, hitting $66.16. 14,685,767 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $180.44 billion, a PE ratio of 35.82 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52 week low of $58.29 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $63.41 and its 200 day moving average is $63.72.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.84%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is presently 76.11%.

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MRK has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “sell” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Credit Suisse Group set a $72.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.00.

Merck & 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & (NYSE:MRK)

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