Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Stake Lessened by Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA

Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA lowered its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 8.0% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 10,200 shares of the company’s stock after selling 885 shares during the quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $740,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Prentiss Smith & Co. Inc. grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.1% in the third quarter. Prentiss Smith & Co. Inc. now owns 4,793 shares of the company’s stock worth $340,000 after acquiring an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC OH grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% in the third quarter. Boyd Watterson Asset Management LLC OH now owns 31,345 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,224,000 after acquiring an additional 725 shares in the last quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 86.5% in the third quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after acquiring an additional 768 shares in the last quarter. Howard Capital Management grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the third quarter. Howard Capital Management now owns 264,546 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,767,000 after acquiring an additional 771 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 187,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,356,000 after acquiring an additional 774 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.29% of the company’s stock.

NYSE MRK opened at $74.67 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market cap of $201.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.76, a PEG ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.73. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $76.61.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.87 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.48%. On average, equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.34 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 25th that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.95%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

In other news, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. acquired 666,666 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $15.00 per share, with a total value of $9,999,990.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,018,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 1,279,104 shares of company stock valued at $92,845,846. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several research firms have commented on MRK. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 18th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 26th. Finally, Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $79.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.65.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

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

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