Cadence Bank NA lowered its stake in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 6.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 80,546 shares of the company’s stock after selling 5,276 shares during the quarter. Merck & comprises approximately 2.4% of Cadence Bank NA’s holdings, making the stock its 6th largest holding. Cadence Bank NA’s holdings in Merck & were worth $5,162,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC increased its holdings in Merck & by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 42,802 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,743,000 after buying an additional 1,643 shares during the period. Tufton Capital Management increased its holdings in Merck & by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Tufton Capital Management now owns 177,418 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,371,000 after buying an additional 1,150 shares during the period. Grove Bank & Trust increased its holdings in Merck & by 16.6% in the 2nd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 32,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,109,000 after buying an additional 4,680 shares during the period. Weatherly Asset Management L. P. increased its holdings in Merck & by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Weatherly Asset Management L. P. now owns 7,426 shares of the company’s stock valued at $476,000 after buying an additional 42 shares during the period. Finally, Garland Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & in the 2nd quarter valued at $4,500,000. 72.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a report on Sunday, August 20th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price target on shares of Merck & from $75.00 to $74.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price target on shares of Merck & in a report on Friday, September 8th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Merck & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $66.00 price target (up previously from $64.00) on shares of Merck & in a report on Monday, July 17th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.13.

Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at 63.83 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $64.51 and its 200 day moving average is $63.70. The firm has a market cap of $174.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.56 and a beta of 0.80. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12 month low of $58.29 and a 12 month high of $66.80.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th were given a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. Merck &’s dividend payout ratio is presently 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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