Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Holdings Lowered by Abacus Planning Group Inc.

Abacus Planning Group Inc. trimmed its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 1.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 14,039 shares of the company’s stock after selling 136 shares during the quarter. Abacus Planning Group Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,152,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 198,224,263 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,191,909,000 after buying an additional 10,326,974 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 118,668,673 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,174,491,000 after purchasing an additional 3,132,078 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 12.7% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 48,153,283 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,682,009,000 after purchasing an additional 5,409,154 shares in the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.5% in the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 29,002,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,222,762,000 after purchasing an additional 1,500,754 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.7% in the 4th quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 28,981,674 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,221,156,000 after purchasing an additional 3,484,786 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.88% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MRK opened at $89.16 on Thursday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $88.75 and its 200 day moving average price is $82.17. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $70.89 and a 52 week high of $94.92. The company has a market capitalization of $225.47 billion, a PE ratio of 15.95, a PEG ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75, a quick ratio of 1.14 and a current ratio of 1.40.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $2.14 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.81 by $0.33. The company had revenue of $15.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $14.64 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 26.27% and a return on equity of 47.86%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 31.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.40 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 8th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th will be given a $0.69 dividend. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 49.37%.

A number of research firms recently commented on MRK. SVB Leerink reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $102.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, June 6th. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $94.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 12th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $82.00 to $80.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 6th. StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “strong-buy” rating on the stock. Finally, Mizuho assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Friday, April 1st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $91.60.

About Merck & Co., Inc. (Get Rating)

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, as well as vaccine products, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines.

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

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