Great West Life Assurance Co. Can Has $195.74 Million Position in Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK)

Great West Life Assurance Co. Can reduced its position in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 3,058,351 shares of the company’s stock after selling 43,856 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can owned approximately 0.11% of Merck & worth $195,742,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Boston Partners raised its holdings in Merck & by 2.6% during the first quarter. Boston Partners now owns 19,935,016 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,266,671,000 after purchasing an additional 500,476 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its holdings in Merck & by 0.6% during the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 13,414,669 shares of the company’s stock worth $852,368,000 after purchasing an additional 77,344 shares in the last quarter. Sanders Capital LLC raised its holdings in Merck & by 4.0% during the second quarter. Sanders Capital LLC now owns 12,052,595 shares of the company’s stock worth $835,462,000 after purchasing an additional 458,950 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & by 0.4% during the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 9,821,563 shares of the company’s stock worth $624,064,000 after purchasing an additional 41,748 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its holdings in Merck & by 8.1% during the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 9,723,813 shares of the company’s stock worth $623,199,000 after purchasing an additional 732,720 shares in the last quarter. 72.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

MRK has been the subject of several analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 price target (up from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. BidaskClub cut shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on shares of Merck & from $75.00 to $74.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $69.81.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at 64.55 on Friday. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 52-week low of $58.29 and a 52-week high of $66.80. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $64.27 and a 200 day moving average of $63.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $176.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.95 and a beta of 0.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.93 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th were issued a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.91%. Merck &’s payout ratio is currently 76.11%.

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Merck & Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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

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