Ellenbecker Investment Group Increases Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)


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Ellenbecker Investment Group lifted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 5.4% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 5,660 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 291 shares during the period. Ellenbecker Investment Group’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $436,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at $2,250,767,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.4% in the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 24,251,965 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,983,811,000 after acquiring an additional 4,112,158 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.7% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 22,569,366 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,846,174,000 after acquiring an additional 3,221,509 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% in the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 18,956,192 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,550,617,000 after acquiring an additional 139,485 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 31.6% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 13,542,412 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,107,769,000 after acquiring an additional 3,252,367 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.86% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded down $0.33 during trading on Thursday, reaching $75.79. 322,141 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 11,986,551. The company has a quick ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 1.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $71.71 and a fifty-two week high of $87.80. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $75.36 and a 200-day simple moving average of $79.05. The firm has a market cap of $191.77 billion, a PE ratio of 16.84, a P/E/G ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.43.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 3rd. The company reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.38 by ($0.06). Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 24.33% and a return on equity of 53.83%. The business had revenue of $12.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.65 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.16 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 7th. Investors of record on Monday, March 15th were paid a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 12th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.43%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 50.10%.

Separately, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, February 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $95.92.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health segments. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, diabetes, and women's health, as well as and vaccine products.

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

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