WoodTrust Financial Corp Sells 290 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

WoodTrust Financial Corp cut its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.6% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 45,591 shares of the company’s stock after selling 290 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 1.6% of WoodTrust Financial Corp’s holdings, making the stock its 24th largest holding. WoodTrust Financial Corp’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,147,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. BancorpSouth Bank lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% during the 3rd quarter. BancorpSouth Bank now owns 50,676 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,266,000 after buying an additional 1,538 shares in the last quarter. Lehman & Derafelo Financial Resources LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.1% during the second quarter. Lehman & Derafelo Financial Resources LLC now owns 51,175 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,381,000 after acquiring an additional 2,502 shares during the period. Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 260.4% during the third quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 801,905 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,143,000 after acquiring an additional 579,388 shares in the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.2% during the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 2,519,127 shares of the company’s stock valued at $212,060,000 after acquiring an additional 123,617 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ashburton Jersey Ltd raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% during the third quarter. Ashburton Jersey Ltd now owns 210,924 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,756,000 after acquiring an additional 750 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.51% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on MRK shares. Bank of America started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, October 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 14th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $95.69.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $89.97 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $231.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.52. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $72.05 and a 52 week high of $92.64. The company has a quick ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $90.22 and a 200 day moving average of $85.74.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.27. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.16% and a net margin of 20.26%. The company had revenue of $12.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.59 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.19 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 16th were given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.71%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 56.22%.

In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total value of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

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.

Featured Article: Most Active Stocks

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

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.