Huntington National Bank continued to hold its position in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 465,125 shares of the company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Huntington National Bank’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $26,736,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 43,031,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,276,774,000 after buying an additional 578,591 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 2.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 27,068,748 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,432,206,000 after buying an additional 525,220 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.5% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 23,656,034 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,249,222,000 after buying an additional 353,474 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 13,626,514 shares of the company’s stock valued at $720,986,000 after buying an additional 152,049 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co. by 3.4% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 12,574,367 shares of the company’s stock valued at $665,310,000 after buying an additional 409,471 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.93% of the company’s stock.

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

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.59% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $62.14. 12,204,208 shares of the stock were exchanged. Merck & Co. has a 52-week low of $47.97 and a 52-week high of $64.86. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $62.56 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.70. The company has a market cap of $171.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.09 and a beta of 0.68.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.02. The company earned $9.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.79 billion. Merck & Co. had a net margin of 13.01% and a return on equity of 23.41%. Merck & Co.’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.86 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 101.10%.

MRK has been the topic of several research reports. Barclays PLC boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $66.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group boosted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 price objective (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of €65.05 ($72.28).

In other Merck & Co. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.97), for a total transaction of €2,532,456.00 ($2,813,840.00). Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,894,837.90). The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Clark Golestani sold 3,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of €63.03 ($70.03), for a total transaction of €189,090.00 ($210,100.00). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

About Merck & Co.

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, which it markets directly and through its joint ventures. It operates through one segment, Pharmaceutical. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MRK

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