Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Holdings Raised by Fox Run Management L.L.C.

Fox Run Management L.L.C. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 39.3% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 8,018 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,263 shares during the period. Fox Run Management L.L.C.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $569,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Rockland Trust Co. bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth $3,949,000. Sawyer & Company Inc grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% in the 2nd quarter. Sawyer & Company Inc now owns 22,984 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,395,000 after acquiring an additional 2,215 shares during the last quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 37.0% in the 2nd quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 122,748 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,451,000 after acquiring an additional 33,153 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.0% in the 2nd quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 924,946 shares of the company’s stock worth $56,144,000 after acquiring an additional 91,879 shares during the last quarter. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 217,281 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,189,000 after acquiring an additional 1,540 shares during the last quarter. 72.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In related news, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.01, for a total transaction of $325,050.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total transaction of $20,168,789.50. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 971,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $70,037,626. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 701,269 shares of company stock valued at $49,544,684. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Sunday, July 15th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Sunday, July 22nd. Bank of America raised their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 23rd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $71.26.

NYSE:MRK opened at $71.45 on Tuesday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $52.83 and a 12 month high of $73.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $189.81 billion, a PE ratio of 17.95, a P/E/G ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.81.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.05. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 8.44% and a return on equity of 34.20%. The company had revenue of $10.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.87 billion. As a group, research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.33 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 25th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 5.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.08%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 48.24%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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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