Shell Asset Management Co. raised its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 560,680 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 7,143 shares during the period. Merck & makes up 0.9% of Shell Asset Management Co.’s portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest position. Shell Asset Management Co.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $35,626,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. City Holding Co. raised its stake in Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 7,767 shares of the company’s stock worth $494,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the period. Adirondack Trust Co. raised its stake in Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. Adirondack Trust Co. now owns 11,334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $720,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the last quarter. Northstar Group Inc. raised its stake in Merck & by 0.5% in the first quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 12,778 shares of the company’s stock valued at $811,000 after buying an additional 58 shares during the last quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC raised its stake in Merck & by 0.6% in the first quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 10,106 shares of the company’s stock valued at $642,000 after buying an additional 58 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American National Bank raised its stake in Merck & by 1.1% in the first quarter. American National Bank now owns 5,826 shares of the company’s stock valued at $370,000 after buying an additional 61 shares during the last quarter. 73.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded down 0.858% on Friday, hitting $62.975. The stock had a trading volume of 3,326,548 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $63.65 and a 200 day moving average of $63.78. The stock has a market cap of $172.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.096 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12 month low of $57.18 and a 12 month high of $66.80.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 25.75% and a net margin of 17.14%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s payout ratio is 76.11%.

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Several research firms have commented on MRK. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $74.00 price target (up from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. UBS AG increased their price target on shares of Merck & from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday. BidaskClub raised shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.80.

In related news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of Merck & stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total value of $317,700.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 14,317 shares in the company, valued at approximately $909,702.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Merck & 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. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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

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