Cornerstone Investment Partners LLC Decreases Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Cornerstone Investment Partners LLC reduced its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 13.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 444,235 shares of the company’s stock after selling 71,551 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up about 2.4% of Cornerstone Investment Partners LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 20th largest position. Cornerstone Investment Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $34,353,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Toth Financial Advisory Corp acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $32,000. CBIZ Investment Advisory Services LLC increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 180.7% during the 1st quarter. CBIZ Investment Advisory Services LLC now owns 421 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 271 shares during the last quarter. Lion Street Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at about $35,000. Ruggie Capital Group acquired a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at about $38,000. Finally, Lake Point Wealth Management increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 159.0% during the 1st quarter. Lake Point Wealth Management now owns 518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,000 after acquiring an additional 318 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.26% of the company’s stock.

In other news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares in the company, valued at approximately $387,702. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 36,285 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total value of $2,902,800.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 62,862 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,028,960. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently commented on MRK. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday. Guggenheim dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $101.00 to $93.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 29th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, June 8th. Wolfe Research downgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from an “outperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a research report on Friday, June 12th. Finally, SVB Leerink dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $95.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 29th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $94.15.

NYSE MRK traded up $1.25 on Friday, reaching $80.24. The company had a trading volume of 11,726,443 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,395,451. The firm has a market capitalization of $202.53 billion, a PE ratio of 20.31, a P/E/G ratio of 2.24 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 firm has a 50-day moving average of $77.65 and a 200-day moving average of $79.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.11 and a quick ratio of 0.87.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. The company 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 revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.30 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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.

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

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