Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. Boosts Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 12.6% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 1,754,895 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 196,424 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 0.7% of Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 24th biggest holding. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $134,092,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 186.4% in the fourth quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 653 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,000 after buying an additional 425 shares in the last quarter. Arlington Partners LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 93.5% in the fourth quarter. Arlington Partners LLC now owns 828 shares of the company’s stock worth $63,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Preferred LLC purchased a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth about $66,000. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. purchased a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth about $66,000. Finally, Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 150.0% in the fourth quarter. Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $76,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.60% of the company’s stock.

In other news, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. purchased 4,121,683 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 8th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $16.00 per share, with a total value of $65,946,928.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Rita A. Karachun sold 64,662 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.96, for a total value of $5,105,711.52. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 53,327 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,210,699.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 853,066 shares of company stock valued at $69,000,379. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have commented on MRK. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, March 29th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, Argus upped their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $82.92.

NYSE MRK opened at $79.48 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $215.70 billion, a PE ratio of 18.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 1.17 and a quick ratio of 0.92. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $56.26 and a twelve month high of $83.85.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.45 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 38.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.05 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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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