Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY Sells 11,810 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY lowered its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.8% in the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 413,769 shares of the company’s stock after selling 11,810 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $25,116,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Baldwin Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $381,000. Albion Financial Group UT raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.6% in the 2nd quarter. Albion Financial Group UT now owns 73,625 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,469,000 after acquiring an additional 11,022 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 33,861.5% in the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 135,846 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,246,000 after acquiring an additional 135,446 shares during the period. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter valued at $2,027,000. Finally, New England Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.0% in the 2nd quarter. New England Asset Management Inc. now owns 62,950 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,821,000 after acquiring an additional 6,750 shares during the period. 72.31% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total value of $20,168,789.50. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $70,037,626. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total value of $7,534,524.80. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares in the company, valued at $7,018,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 929,360 shares of company stock worth $64,370,599. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Barclays increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. Guggenheim began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, October 8th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $70.24.

MRK stock opened at $72.35 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market cap of $193.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.18, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $72.89.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 32.68% and a net margin of 3.67%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.01 EPS. As a group, equities analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 17th were issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.24%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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