State of Alaska Department of Revenue Has $29.97 Million Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

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State of Alaska Department of Revenue decreased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.0% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 422,455 shares of the company’s stock after selling 8,440 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $29,965,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 86.5% in the 3rd quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 768 shares during the period. Taylor Wealth Management Partners acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at about $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% in the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares during the period. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter valued at about $103,000. Finally, Acropolis Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter valued at about $140,000. 72.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $72.87 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The stock has a market cap of $189.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.69, a PEG ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $52.83 and a 52-week high of $73.49.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.87 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.20%. Equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.02%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Several research firms have recently commented on MRK. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 1st. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, Citigroup set a $79.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $71.56.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total transaction of $20,168,789.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $70,037,626. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. bought 666,666 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $15.00 per share, with a total value of $9,999,990.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 701,269 shares of company stock valued at $49,544,684 over the last three months. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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.

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

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