KCM Investment Advisors LLC Acquires 1,878 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

KCM Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.9% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 66,669 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,878 shares during the period. KCM Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $6,064,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 116,493,884 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,665,449,000 after acquiring an additional 1,196,724 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.5% during the fourth quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 28,954,215 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,633,372,000 after acquiring an additional 4,108,756 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 13,600,258 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,236,943,000 after acquiring an additional 191,393 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 7.1% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,486,223 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,135,622,000 after acquiring an additional 822,959 shares during the period. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.0% during the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 12,132,071 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,103,412,000 after acquiring an additional 1,204,495 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “sector perform” rating and set a $92.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, February 6th. UBS Group cut their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $99.00 to $96.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 29th. Argus cut their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $95.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, February 5th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $94.50.

NYSE:MRK traded up $3.78 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $72.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,040,411 shares, compared to its average volume of 18,445,974. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $65.25 and a fifty-two week high of $92.64. The company has a current ratio of 1.24, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87. The company has a market capitalization of $175.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.90, a P/E/G ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.69. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $79.60 and a 200-day moving average of $84.79.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 5th. The company reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by $0.01. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.01% and a return on equity of 49.41%. The firm had revenue of $11.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.71 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.04 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 7th. Investors of record on Monday, March 16th will be given a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 47.01%.

In related news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 13th. The shares were 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 owns 106,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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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