Pioneer Trust Bank N A OR increased its position in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.3% in the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 7,760 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 320 shares during the quarter. Pioneer Trust Bank N A OR’s holdings in Merck & were worth $497,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vigilant Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Merck & by 16.7% in the 1st quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Merck & in the 1st quarter worth approximately $127,000. Gradient Investments LLC lifted its position in Merck & by 41.3% in the 1st quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 2,306 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 674 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Bank bought a new stake in Merck & in the 1st quarter worth approximately $152,000. Finally, Dillon & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & in the 1st quarter worth approximately $206,000. Institutional investors own 73.02% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have commented on MRK shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a research note on Sunday, August 20th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $74.00 price target (up from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.00.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded up 0.06% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $66.16. The company had a trading volume of 14,685,767 shares. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 1-year low of $58.29 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $63.41 and its 200-day moving average price is $63.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $180.44 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.82 and a beta of 0.81.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $9.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a return on equity of 26.02% and a net margin of 17.14%. Merck &’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.84%. Merck &’s payout ratio is currently 76.11%.

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Merck & 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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