R. G. Niederhoffer Capital Management Inc. Buys Shares of 3,600 Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

R. G. Niederhoffer Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund bought 3,600 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $302,000. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 1.8% of R. G. Niederhoffer Capital Management Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest position.

Several other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth about $2,166,688,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 194,589,541 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,868,587,000 after purchasing an additional 10,315,510 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.2% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 11,111,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $924,139,000 after purchasing an additional 3,244,078 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.4% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 34,032,366 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,596,161,000 after purchasing an additional 3,219,877 shares during the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. grew its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 326.2% during the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,792,515 shares of the company’s stock worth $253,498,000 after purchasing an additional 2,902,600 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.05% of the company’s stock.

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

MRK stock traded down $0.79 during trading on Friday, hitting $85.93. The company had a trading volume of 413,691 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,420,273. The business has a 50-day moving average of $83.55 and a 200-day moving average of $81.17. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $66.10 and a one year high of $87.25. The stock has a market cap of $219.30 billion, a PE ratio of 19.77, a PEG ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a current ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, beating 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 period in the prior year, the business posted $1.06 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be issued a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.56%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 50.69%.

MRK has been the topic of several research reports. Argus boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Atlantic Securities upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Leerink Swann initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 15th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Citigroup boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $92.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

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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