Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC Sells 5,840 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC reduced its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.1% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 532,258 shares of the company’s stock after selling 5,840 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up 1.4% of Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 23rd biggest position. Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $48,408,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Bernardo Wealth Planning LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Bernardo Wealth Planning LLC now owns 18,478 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,549,000 after buying an additional 231 shares in the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 147.2% during the 2nd quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 1,184,397 shares of the company’s stock worth $99,312,000 after buying an additional 705,176 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 228.8% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 559,578 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,921,000 after buying an additional 389,383 shares in the last quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1,124.6% during the 2nd quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 2,290 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,000 after buying an additional 2,103 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Voloridge Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 102.9% during the 2nd quarter. Voloridge Investment Management LLC now owns 83,013 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,961,000 after buying an additional 42,103 shares in the last quarter. 74.51% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $1.09 on Thursday, hitting $88.56. 12,593,559 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,943,448. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $90.27 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $85.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $229.06 billion, a PE ratio of 24.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 0.52. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $72.05 and a one year high of $92.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84, a current ratio of 1.26 and a quick ratio of 0.98.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. The company had revenue of $12.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 20.26% and a return on equity of 48.16%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.19 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 16th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 13th. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.76%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 56.22%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 106,099 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of several research reports. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 13th. Bank of America initiated coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, October 16th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price objective on the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, January 8th. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 14th. Finally, Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, January 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $96.38.

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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