EFG Asset Management Americas Corp. Purchases New Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

EFG Asset Management Americas Corp. purchased a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund purchased 17,267 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,335,000.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Acropolis Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.2% during the 1st quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 3,056 shares of the company’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 122 shares during the period. D Orazio & Associates Inc. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.3% during the 1st quarter. D Orazio & Associates Inc. now owns 722 shares of the company’s stock worth $56,000 after purchasing an additional 122 shares during the period. Successful Portfolios LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 1st quarter. Successful Portfolios LLC now owns 7,696 shares of the company’s stock worth $592,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares during the period. Eagle Ridge Investment Management increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.4% during the 1st quarter. Eagle Ridge Investment Management now owns 5,417 shares of the company’s stock worth $417,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares during the period. Finally, Abbrea Capital LLC increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Abbrea Capital LLC now owns 44,825 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,476,000 after purchasing an additional 128 shares during the period. 74.26% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.02, for a total transaction of $380,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $387,702. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 36,285 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total value of $2,902,800.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 62,862 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,028,960. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.28% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $1.25 during trading on Friday, reaching $80.24. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 11,726,443 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,395,451. The company has a quick ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The company has a market cap of $202.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.31, a P/E/G ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.48. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $65.25 and a 1-year high of $92.64. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $77.65 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $79.99.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. The firm had revenue of $10.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.52 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 52.46% and a net margin of 21.10%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.30 EPS. As a group, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.32 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 15th will be given a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 14th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.04%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 47.01%.

Several research firms have commented on MRK. ValuEngine downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, June 8th. Wolfe Research downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from an “outperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a report on Friday, June 12th. Guggenheim reduced their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $101.00 to $93.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. UBS Group cut their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $96.00 to $92.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 13th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $89.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, June 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $94.15.

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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