Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Shares Bought by Conning Inc.

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Conning Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.6% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 834,662 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 13,358 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises approximately 1.5% of Conning Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 7th biggest holding. Conning Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $50,664,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Cubic Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 32.6% in the 2nd quarter. Cubic Asset Management LLC now owns 20,970 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,273,000 after acquiring an additional 5,158 shares during the period. Roof Advisory Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $1,005,000. Benchmark Capital Advisors acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $1,684,000. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $133,000. Finally, Busey Trust CO grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Busey Trust CO now owns 78,049 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,738,000 after purchasing an additional 973 shares in the last quarter. 73.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MRK has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. TheStreet raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, June 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, June 7th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday. Bank of America raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.55.

Shares of MRK stock opened at $69.06 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $178.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.35, a P/E/G ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 0.80. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $52.83 and a 1-year high of $69.24.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.28 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.01 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.24%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 134,094 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total transaction of $8,179,734.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,100,000. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $14,825,915.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 938,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $61,021,220. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 396,393 shares of company stock valued at $25,235,061. 0.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Merck & Co., Inc. 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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