Planned Solutions Inc. Purchases 400 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Planned Solutions Inc. lifted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) by 11.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 3,793 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 400 shares during the quarter. Planned Solutions Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $346,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,823,028,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.5% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 198,224,263 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,191,909,000 after purchasing an additional 10,326,974 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2,671.4% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 5,099,334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $418,400,000 after purchasing an additional 4,915,334 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 216,096,057 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,730,682,000 after buying an additional 4,893,526 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 256.3% in the first quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 4,882,173 shares of the company’s stock valued at $400,582,000 after buying an additional 3,511,900 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.33% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Up 3.5 %

Shares of MRK opened at $87.51 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.39, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $71.50 and a 12 month high of $95.72. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $88.83 and its two-hundred day moving average is $87.81. The firm has a market cap of $221.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.40, a PEG ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.33.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.87 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.45% and a net margin of 29.00%. The company had revenue of $14.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.85 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.31 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 7.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a $0.69 dividend. This represents a $2.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 42.27%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of equities research analysts have commented on MRK shares. Daiwa Capital Markets upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $89.00 to $102.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. UBS Group increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $76.00 to $98.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Cowen increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $88.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $95.00 to $100.00 in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $98.28.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

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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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