Ninety One UK Ltd Sells 83,937 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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Ninety One UK Ltd decreased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.4% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 3,422,990 shares of the company’s stock after selling 83,937 shares during the period. Ninety One UK Ltd owned 0.14% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $264,700,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.2% during the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 2,591,741 shares of the company’s stock valued at $199,409,000 after buying an additional 79,468 shares during the last quarter. Bourgeon Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.8% during the first quarter. Bourgeon Capital Management LLC now owns 87,198 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,709,000 after acquiring an additional 13,157 shares during the period. JGP Global Gestao de Recursos Ltda. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.5% in the 1st quarter. JGP Global Gestao de Recursos Ltda. now owns 4,428 shares of the company’s stock valued at $341,000 after acquiring an additional 229 shares in the last quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.1% in the 1st quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 20,252 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,558,000 after acquiring an additional 987 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Puzo Michael J lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. Puzo Michael J now owns 24,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,887,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.18% of the company’s stock.

MRK traded up $0.05 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $84.21. The company had a trading volume of 8,183,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,994,056. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $65.25 and a twelve month high of $92.64. The company has a market capitalization of $212.86 billion, a PE ratio of 20.59, a P/E/G ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a current ratio of 1.32. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $83.24 and its 200-day simple moving average is $79.44.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. The business had revenue of $10.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.52 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 22.20% and a return on equity of 52.94%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.30 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 15th will be given a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 14th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.90%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 47.01%.

In other news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 10,380 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.01, for a total value of $861,643.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 18,876 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total transaction of $1,539,337.80. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 99,639 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,125,560.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 65,541 shares of company stock worth $5,303,782 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently commented on MRK shares. Wolfe Research lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from an “outperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 12th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, July 31st. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, August 4th. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 3rd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $91.00 to $105.00 in a report on Monday, August 3rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $94.54.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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