Beacon Financial Advisory LLC Trims Stock Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Beacon Financial Advisory LLC lessened its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 3.9% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 12,836 shares of the company’s stock after selling 522 shares during the quarter. Beacon Financial Advisory LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,399,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. State Street Corp increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% in the second 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 last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake 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 acquiring an additional 5,196,914 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings 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 worth $4,643,267,000 after acquiring an additional 4,000,816 shares during the period. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 103,159.7% in the fourth 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.1% in the third 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 during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.07% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Price Performance

MRK opened at $131.34 on Wednesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $99.14 and a twelve month high of $133.10. The firm has a market cap of $332.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 931.07, a PEG ratio of 0.52 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a current ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $125.45 and a 200 day simple moving average of $113.20.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate 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 company had revenue of $14.63 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $14.49 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.62 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be issued 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 2.35%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 2,200.00%.

Insider Buying and Selling at Merck & Co., Inc.

In other news, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total transaction of $124,890.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,443,972.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. In other news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 23,619 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,991,346.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total value of $124,890.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,443,972.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Analyst Ratings Changes

MRK has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $135.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. TD Cowen upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $125.00 to $135.00 in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. TheStreet cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b+” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, March 4th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company increased their target price on shares of 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. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $129.71.

View Our Latest Analysis on Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

(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.

See Also

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

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