Gotham Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 167.3% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 767,331 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 480,268 shares during the quarter. Merck & makes up about 0.6% of Gotham Asset Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 16th largest position. Gotham Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & were worth $48,756,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. HM Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,734 shares of the company’s stock valued at $236,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. City Holding Co. increased its holdings in Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 7,767 shares of the company’s stock valued at $494,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Camelot Portfolios LLC increased its holdings in Merck & by 0.4% in the first quarter. Camelot Portfolios LLC now owns 7,771 shares of the company’s stock valued at $494,000 after buying an additional 33 shares during the last quarter. Adirondack Trust Co. increased its holdings 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. Finally, Alexandria Capital LLC increased its holdings 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. 73.02% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

MRK has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $74.00 target price (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 target price on Merck & and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, May 26th. BidaskClub lowered Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 target price on Merck & and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.68.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) traded down 0.08% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $64.27. 7,365,817 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $62.97 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.73. Merck & Company, Inc. has a one year low of $58.29 and a one year high of $66.80. The stock has a market cap of $175.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.80 and a beta of 0.81.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The business had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.75 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.88 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 76.11%.

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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.

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

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