Cornerstone Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 13,847 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 475 shares during the quarter. Merck & makes up approximately 0.5% of Cornerstone Advisors Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 20th largest holding. Cornerstone Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & were worth $887,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Naples Global Advisors LLC raised its position in Merck & by 4.3% in the 2nd quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 38,881 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,492,000 after purchasing an additional 1,610 shares during the last quarter. Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC raised its position in Merck & by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC now owns 36,434 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,335,000 after purchasing an additional 852 shares during the last quarter. Lincoln Capital Corp raised its position in Merck & by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Lincoln Capital Corp now owns 63,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,085,000 after purchasing an additional 432 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its position in Merck & by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 127,602 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,177,000 after purchasing an additional 498 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Carroll Financial Associates Inc. raised its position in Merck & by 4.7% in the 2nd quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 24,963 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,599,000 after purchasing an additional 1,121 shares during the last quarter. 72.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $74.00 price objective (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Merck & in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Citigroup Inc. set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, May 26th. BidaskClub cut shares of Merck & from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.00.

Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded down 0.265% during trading on Monday, hitting $65.985. 3,776,772 shares of the stock traded hands. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 1-year low of $58.29 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $63.41 and a 200-day moving average of $63.72. The firm has a market capitalization of $179.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.726 and a beta of 0.81.

Merck & (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $9.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.75 billion. Merck & had a net margin of 17.14% and a return on equity of 26.02%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.87 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 paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. 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.

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

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