ARS Investment Partners LLC Sells 394 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

ARS Investment Partners LLC lessened its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.4% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 110,611 shares of the company’s stock after selling 394 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for approximately 1.8% of ARS Investment Partners LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 21st biggest position. ARS Investment Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $8,452,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in MRK. Martingale Asset Management L P increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 694,680 shares of the company’s stock worth $49,281,000 after acquiring an additional 5,121 shares during the period. Baker Avenue Asset Management LP increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.5% in the 3rd quarter. Baker Avenue Asset Management LP now owns 32,890 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,333,000 after buying an additional 792 shares during the last quarter. Signaturefd LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.7% in the 3rd quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 21,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,534,000 after buying an additional 1,165 shares during the last quarter. Covington Capital Management increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% in the 3rd quarter. Covington Capital Management now owns 204,640 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,517,000 after buying an additional 5,841 shares during the last quarter. Finally, EP Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 124.4% in the 3rd quarter. EP Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 12,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $897,000 after buying an additional 7,012 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.85% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $78.72 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.37 and a quick ratio of 1.06. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $57.49 and a 12 month high of $83.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $212.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.14, a P/E/G ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.58.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 19.50% and a return on equity of 39.85%. The business had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.45 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.05 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 EPS for the current year.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on MRK. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, April 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, March 29th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. ValuEngine raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, Argus upped their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $82.92.

In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 135,613 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.03, for a total value of $10,853,108.39. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 784,863 shares in the company, valued at approximately $62,812,585.89. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.73, for a total transaction of $1,943,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 92,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,198,108.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 673,712 shares of company stock valued at $54,776,448. 0.27% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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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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