Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Castleark Management LLC

Castleark Management LLC decreased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 524,175 shares of the company’s stock after selling 9,184 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up 1.7% of Castleark Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 5th largest position. Castleark Management LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $43,952,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Titan Capital Management LLC CA purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at approximately $25,000. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 250.0% in the 2nd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 315 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the last quarter. JJJ Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth $27,000. Cumberland Partners Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth $40,000. Finally, Fusion Family Wealth LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 268.2% during the 2nd quarter. Fusion Family Wealth LLC now owns 486 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,000 after acquiring an additional 354 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.36% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. Citigroup lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Svb Leerink started coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, August 16th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $103.00 price objective for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $93.29.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $0.47 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $82.16. The stock had a trading volume of 1,297,474 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,114,536. The company has a market capitalization of $213.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.93, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.53. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $84.74 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $81.87. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $66.10 and a 52 week high of $87.35. 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 posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.06 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.68%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.69%.

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

Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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.

Further Reading: Coverage Ratio

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

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