Independence Bank of Kentucky Grows Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Independence Bank of Kentucky raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 19.8% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 15,333 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,530 shares during the quarter. Independence Bank of Kentucky’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,672,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 118,562,086 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,766,428,000 after purchasing an additional 2,174,829 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.7% during the 3rd quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 82,442,666 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,487,472,000 after purchasing an additional 5,196,914 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 41,850,081 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,643,267,000 after purchasing an additional 4,000,816 shares during the period. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 103,159.7% during the 4th quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 39,327,490 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,363,385,000 after acquiring an additional 39,289,404 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.1% during the 3rd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 31,951,714 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,289,429,000 after acquiring an additional 1,246,705 shares in the last quarter. 76.07% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Merck & Co., Inc. Trading Down 0.5 %

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $130.35 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.25. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $125.45 and its 200-day simple moving average is $113.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $330.13 billion, a PE ratio of 931.07, a PEG ratio of 0.52 and a beta of 0.38. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $99.14 and a 52 week high of $133.10.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by $0.12. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 9.33% and a net margin of 0.61%. The business had revenue of $14.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.49 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.62 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.59 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.77 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $3.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.36%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 2,200.00%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several research firms have recently weighed in on MRK. TD Cowen raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $125.00 to $135.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Wells Fargo & Company raised their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 27th. Societe Generale cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $104.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, March 11th. Truist Financial reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $142.00 target price (up previously from $139.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, March 28th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $135.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, March 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $129.71.

Check Out Our Latest Stock Report on MRK

Insider Activity at Merck & Co., Inc.

In related news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total transaction of $6,420,395.10. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,619 shares in the company, valued at $2,991,346.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total transaction of $124,890.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,443,972.41. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total value of $6,420,395.10. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,619 shares in the company, valued at $2,991,346.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

(Free Report)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes under the Keytruda, Bridion, Adempas, Lagevrio, Belsomra, Simponi, and Januvia brands, as well as vaccine products consisting of preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines under the Gardasil/Gardasil 9, ProQuad, M-M-R II, Varivax, RotaTeq, Live Oral, Vaxneuvance, Pneumovax 23, and Vaqta names.

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

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