Cacti Asset Management LLC Has $41.65 Million Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Cacti Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.2% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 740,131 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,291 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 3.4% of Cacti Asset Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 14th largest holding. Cacti Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $41,647,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Perennial Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at approximately $104,000. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 728.3% during the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 14,801 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after acquiring an additional 13,014 shares during the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Balentine LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 2,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. 72.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the company. Leerink Swann increased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, October 20th. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 target price on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.35.

In related news, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the 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 $770,375.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 82,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,026,025 over the last quarter. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $54.90 on Thursday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $53.36 and a fifty-two week high of $66.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16. The company has a market capitalization of $149,570.00, a P/E ratio of 59.03, a P/E/G ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.75.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.73% and a net margin of 6.40%. The firm had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.50%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 206.45%.

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

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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.

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

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