TCG Advisors LP Boosts Stock Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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TCG Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 16.2% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 15,089 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 2,101 shares during the period. TCG Advisors LP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,161,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 196,345,328 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,106,811,000 after purchasing an additional 5,562,103 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 117,343,358 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,098,570,000 after acquiring an additional 849,474 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 39,980,410 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,629,567,000 after acquiring an additional 685,744 shares during the period. Capital International Investors grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 39,628,116 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,604,177,000 after acquiring an additional 1,034,782 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.5% in the 4th quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 28,954,215 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,633,372,000 after acquiring an additional 4,108,756 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.33% of the company’s stock.

In related news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.02, for a total value of $380,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at $387,702. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.28% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, February 29th. Barclays lowered their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $93.00 to $90.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $89.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 1st. Argus lowered their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $95.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 24th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $97.00 to $89.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $94.21.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $1.21 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $79.51. 328,189 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,026,432. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $65.25 and a 52-week high of $92.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $203.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a fifty day moving average of $79.53 and a 200-day moving average of $83.11. The company has a current ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 28th. The company reported $1.50 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.34 by $0.16. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 52.46% and a net margin of 21.10%. The company had revenue of $12.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.46 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.22 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 12th. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.07%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 47.01%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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