Traders Sell Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) on Strength (MRK)

Investors sold shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on strength during trading hours on Monday. $65.07 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $172.02 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $106.95 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Merck & Co., Inc. had the 7th highest net out-flow for the day. Merck & Co., Inc. traded up $0.43 for the day and closed at $71.46

Several analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 1st. Guggenheim assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 7th. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $68.61.

The firm has a market cap of $191.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 17th were given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.69%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.24%.

In other news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total value of $20,168,789.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 971,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $70,037,626. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total value of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,018,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 929,360 shares of company stock valued at $64,370,599. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Taylor Wealth Management Partners purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $110,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 155.2% in the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 1,832 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares during the last quarter. Clearwater Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth about $103,000. Acropolis Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter worth about $140,000. Finally, SRS Capital Advisors Inc. raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 208.4% in the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,983 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 1,340 shares during the last quarter. 72.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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