F&V Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.2% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 82,595 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,015 shares during the period. Merck & Co. comprises approximately 3.6% of F&V Capital Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 11th largest position. F&V Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $5,155,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Cypress Capital Group raised its position in shares of Merck & Co. by 25.7% in the first quarter. Cypress Capital Group now owns 29,697 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,571,000 after buying an additional 6,075 shares in the last quarter. Clear Harbor Asset Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 93.2% in the first quarter. Clear Harbor Asset Management LLC now owns 85,740 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,537,000 after buying an additional 41,370 shares during the period. One Capital Management LLC increased its position in Merck & Co. by 4.7% in the first quarter. One Capital Management LLC now owns 44,272 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,342,000 after buying an additional 1,983 shares during the period. Oak Associates Ltd. OH increased its position in Merck & Co. by 1.3% in the first quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH now owns 55,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,952,000 after buying an additional 700 shares during the period. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co. by 27.8% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 642,313 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,983,000 after buying an additional 139,749 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.25% of the company’s stock.

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

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.92% on Friday, hitting $62.21. The company had a trading volume of 3,501,268 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $61.63 and a 200 day moving average price of $60.02. The firm has a market capitalization of $171.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.77 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co. has a 1-year low of $47.97 and a 1-year high of $65.46.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.08. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 24.25% and a net margin of 13.76%. The firm earned $10.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.96 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co. will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 9th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 15th will be paid a $0.47 dividend. This is an increase from Merck & Co.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.02%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 13th. Merck & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 93.88%.

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A number of research firms have weighed in on MRK. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price target (up previously from $58.00) on shares of Merck & Co. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Vetr downgraded Merck & Co. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $64.84 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, October 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, November 17th. Bank of America Corp. raised Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $57.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Thursday, October 13th. Finally, Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Thirteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.24.

In other news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 40,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.07, for a total value of $2,532,456.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 128,973 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,005,354.11. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 140,000 shares of Merck & Co. stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total value of $9,104,200.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 514,957 shares in the company, valued at $33,487,653.71. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Merck & Co. Company Profile

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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