Toronto Dominion Bank Grows Stock Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.5% in the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 2,658,390 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 13,169 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank owned approximately 0.11% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $140,094,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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

MRK traded up $0.05 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $84.21. The stock had a trading volume of 10,321,338 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,994,049. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $65.25 and a twelve month high of $92.64. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $83.24 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $79.44. 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 company has a market capitalization of $212.86 billion, a PE ratio of 20.59, a PEG ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.45.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 22.20% and a return on equity of 52.94%. The business had revenue of $10.87 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.52 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.30 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.69 EPS for the current year.

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

In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 36,285 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Friday, July 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total transaction of $2,902,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 62,862 shares in the company, valued at $5,028,960. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 18,876 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction 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 $8,125,560.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 65,541 shares of company stock valued at $5,303,782 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on MRK. SVB Leerink increased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 25th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $91.00 to $105.00 in a report on Monday, August 3rd. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $100.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, July 31st. Wolfe Research cut Merck & Co., Inc. from an “outperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a research note on Friday, June 12th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, August 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus 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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