Rudd International Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund purchased 3,774 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $316,000.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 30.8% during the second quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC now owns 8,284 shares of the company’s stock valued at $691,000 after acquiring an additional 1,952 shares during the period. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.0% during the second quarter. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. now owns 4,501 shares of the company’s stock worth $377,000 after purchasing an additional 372 shares in the last quarter. F3Logic LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 14.5% during the second quarter. F3Logic LLC now owns 3,368 shares of the company’s stock worth $283,000 after purchasing an additional 426 shares in the last quarter. Jones Financial Companies Lllp lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.8% during the second quarter. Jones Financial Companies Lllp now owns 174,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,626,000 after purchasing an additional 6,338 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% during the second quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. 75.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total transaction of $18,514,218.74. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares in the company, valued at $30,274,512.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total value of $546,873.43. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 103,223 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Mizuho restated a “buy” rating and set a $97.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Monday, August 5th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. Argus boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $93.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 14th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $92.56.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded up $1.60 during trading on Friday, hitting $85.06. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,550,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,599,076. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 1.21. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $66.10 and a fifty-two week high of $87.07. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $83.38 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $80.94. The company has a market capitalization of $213.69 billion, a PE ratio of 19.60, a PEG ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.06 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 50.69%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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