Columbia Partners L L C Investment Management Has $315,000 Holdings in Merck & Co. (MRK)

Columbia Partners L L C Investment Management cut its holdings in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 79.9% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 5,605 shares of the company’s stock after selling 22,246 shares during the quarter. Columbia Partners L L C Investment Management’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $315,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the business. Logan Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 26.5% during the 4th quarter. Logan Capital Management Inc. now owns 153,604 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,643,000 after purchasing an additional 32,186 shares during the last quarter. Santori & Peters Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter worth about $110,000. Eaton Vance Management increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 6.5% during the 4th quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 2,687,040 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,200,000 after purchasing an additional 164,641 shares during the last quarter. Allen Capital Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter worth about $934,000. Finally, Nations Financial Group Inc. IA ADV increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co. by 7.7% during the 4th quarter. Nations Financial Group Inc. IA ADV now owns 13,557 shares of the company’s stock worth $763,000 after purchasing an additional 966 shares during the last quarter. 74.60% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Shares of MRK opened at $58.83 on Friday. Merck & Co. has a 52 week low of $52.83 and a 52 week high of $66.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $158,104.58, a P/E ratio of 14.78, a P/E/G ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $10.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 28.61%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.89 EPS. equities analysts expect that Merck & Co. will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 17th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the company from $59.80 to $63.00 in a research note on Tuesday, April 17th. Barclays upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the company from $62.00 to $64.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 5th. Finally, SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.67.

In other Merck & Co. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total value of $267,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 24,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $1,392,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

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About Merck & Co.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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