Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. Trims Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. decreased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.9% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 281,573 shares of the company’s stock after selling 5,350 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises approximately 1.7% of Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 10th largest holding. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $15,844,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Honeywell International Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% in the 3rd quarter. Honeywell International Inc. now owns 633,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,576,000 after purchasing an additional 100,500 shares during the period. Hanson McClain Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 65.0% in the 2nd quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 7,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $491,000 after purchasing an additional 3,019 shares during the period. D.A. Davidson & CO. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.3% in the 3rd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 524,481 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,582,000 after purchasing an additional 81,290 shares during the period. Hartland & Co. LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.5% in the 2nd quarter. Hartland & Co. LLC now owns 44,558 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,856,000 after purchasing an additional 3,861 shares during the period. Finally, Crescent Grove Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,092,000. 72.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

MRK has been the subject of several research reports. Citigroup raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, Barclays downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $72.00 to $62.00 in a research report on Monday, October 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.35.

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction 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 sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at $273,207. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $54.90 on Thursday. 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 stock has a market cap of $149,570.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 59.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.75. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $53.36 and a fifty-two week high of $66.80.

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

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

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its board has approved a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors 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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