1832 Asset Management L.P. increased its stake in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.4% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 549,927 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 2,089 shares during the period. 1832 Asset Management L.P.’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $31,769,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.1% in the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 1,655,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $83,103,000 after buying an additional 17,857 shares in the last quarter. Chubb Ltd. bought a new stake in Merck & Co. during the first quarter valued at approximately $15,873,000. NorthRock Partners LLC boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 1.2% in the first quarter. NorthRock Partners LLC now owns 3,862 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 45 shares in the last quarter. Baker Avenue Asset Management LP boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 21.0% in the first quarter. Baker Avenue Asset Management LP now owns 14,207 shares of the company’s stock valued at $752,000 after buying an additional 2,468 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Loomis Sayles & Co. L P boosted its stake in Merck & Co. by 5.4% in the first quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 5,622,624 shares of the company’s stock valued at $297,493,000 after buying an additional 288,003 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.99% of the company’s stock.

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

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 1.55% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $63.95. 14,059,705 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $61.69 and a 200 day moving average of $59.50. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $47.97 and a 1-year high of $65.46. The company has a market capitalization of $176.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.66 and a beta of 0.76.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.99 by $0.08. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.25% and a net margin of 13.76%. The business had revenue of $10.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.96 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co. will post $3.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of Merck & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $62.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group AG raised shares of Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $62.00 to $73.00 in a research report on Sunday, August 7th. Jefferies Group raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co. from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of €66.69 ($73.29).

In related news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of €62.07 ($68.21), for a total value of €2,532,456.00 ($2,782,918.68). Following the sale, the insider now owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately €8,005,354.11 ($8,797,092.43). The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 39,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of €62.61 ($68.80), for a total value of €2,454,312.00 ($2,697,046.15). Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 39,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately €2,454,312 ($2,697,046.15). The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is 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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