Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Position Reduced by Stillwater Capital Advisors LLC

Stillwater Capital Advisors LLC decreased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 219,496 shares of the company’s stock after selling 20,139 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up about 4.5% of Stillwater Capital Advisors LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 3rd largest position. Stillwater Capital Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $18,405,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,166,688,000. Jennison Associates LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 323.1% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 15,777,286 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,205,542,000 after acquiring an additional 12,048,406 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 194,589,541 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,868,587,000 after acquiring an additional 10,315,510 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.2% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 11,111,444 shares of the company’s stock valued at $924,139,000 after acquiring an additional 3,244,078 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,596,161,000 after acquiring an additional 3,219,877 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.16% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have issued reports on MRK shares. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 14th. Atlantic Securities raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, May 28th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $91.07.

Shares of MRK stock traded down $0.53 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $83.82. 3,315,308 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,401,444. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $65.68 and a fifty-two week high of $87.07. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The company has a market capitalization of $217.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $83.30.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.10% and a return on equity of 42.84%. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.06 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.62%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

In other news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,274,512.54. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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