Sowell Financial Services LLC Raises Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Sowell Financial Services LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.2% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 112,038 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 3,452 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up 0.6% of Sowell Financial Services LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 28th largest holding. Sowell Financial Services LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $8,620,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Sowa Financial Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth $27,000. Total Clarity Wealth Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at $27,000. Stephenson National Bank & Trust bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at $28,000. Pacifica Partners Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at $35,000. Finally, Lion Street Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at $35,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.23% of the company’s stock.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.02, for a total value of $380,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $387,702. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded up $1.68 on Friday, reaching $80.72. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 11,794,860 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,835,542. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $65.25 and a 52-week high of $92.64. The company has a market cap of $199.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.44, a PEG ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $79.53 and a 200 day simple moving average of $83.11. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 1.11.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 28th. The company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.34 by $0.16. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.10% and a return on equity of 52.46%. The business had revenue of $12.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.46 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.22 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 11.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 15th will be paid a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 12th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.02%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 47.01%.

Several brokerages have recently commented on MRK. Argus decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $95.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 24th. SVB Leerink decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $95.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 29th. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $89.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 1st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 29th. Finally, Barclays reduced their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $93.00 to $90.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $94.21.

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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