Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. Sells 449,025 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

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Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. lessened its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 46.9% during the 2nd quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 508,911 shares of the company’s stock after selling 449,025 shares during the period. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $30,891,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in MRK. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.6% in the 2nd quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware now owns 15,447 shares of the company’s stock valued at $938,000 after buying an additional 815 shares during the period. Summit X LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% in the 1st quarter. Summit X LLC now owns 10,093 shares of the company’s stock valued at $552,000 after buying an additional 850 shares during the period. Covenant Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.4% during the second quarter. Covenant Asset Management LLC now owns 62,353 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,785,000 after purchasing an additional 850 shares during the period. First Midwest Bank Trust Division increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.1% during the second quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division now owns 42,242 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,564,000 after purchasing an additional 869 shares during the period. Finally, Pegasus Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.2% during the first quarter. Pegasus Asset Management Inc. now owns 21,794 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,187,000 after purchasing an additional 873 shares during the period. 72.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

MRK stock opened at $68.62 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.33. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $52.83 and a fifty-two week high of $70.25. The company has a market cap of $184.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.24, a PEG ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 0.81.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.80%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.

In related news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 29,208 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.20, for a total transaction of $1,904,361.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 70,675 shares in the company, valued at $4,608,010. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the chairman now owns 938,788 shares in the company, valued at $61,021,220. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 396,393 shares of company stock worth $25,235,061 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

MRK has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Bank of America boosted their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 23rd. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, July 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 7th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, June 8th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $67.24.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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