Vigilare Wealth Management cut its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 4.7% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 12,313 shares of the company’s stock after selling 614 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for approximately 1.1% of Vigilare Wealth Management’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 25th largest holding. Vigilare Wealth Management’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,021,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.2% in the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 2,591,741 shares of the company’s stock worth $199,409,000 after buying an additional 79,468 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 117,343,358 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,098,570,000 after buying an additional 849,474 shares during the period. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.3% in the first quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 2,963,475 shares of the company’s stock worth $228,010,000 after buying an additional 227,059 shares during the period. Cohen & Steers Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the first quarter worth $169,000. Finally, AXA increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 22.2% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 2,165,848 shares of the company’s stock worth $166,641,000 after buying an additional 393,632 shares during the period. 73.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

MRK has been the topic of several analyst reports. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, September 22nd. Morgan Stanley reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $89.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, June 23rd. SVB Leerink increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 25th. Goldman Sachs Group raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $91.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Monday, August 3rd. Finally, Berenberg Bank began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, September 29th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $88.00 price target for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.08.

Shares of MRK stock opened at $79.83 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $83.27 and a 200 day simple moving average of $80.42. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $65.25 and a fifty-two week high of $92.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $201.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.47, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 52.94% and a net margin of 22.20%. The business had revenue of $10.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.52 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.30 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 15th were given a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 14th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 47.01%.

In related news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total value of $20,360,651.19. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 422,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $34,221,318.87. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 18,876 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.55, for a total value of $1,539,337.80. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 99,639 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,125,560.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 280,529 shares of company stock valued at $22,761,633 in the last quarter. 0.28% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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.

Read More: What is a Swap?

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

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.