Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. Increases Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 28,562 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 159 shares during the period. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $2,395,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. JJJ Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter worth about $27,000. PRW Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth about $41,000. Aspire Private Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth about $55,000. Thor Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter worth about $69,000. Finally, Contravisory Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 19.7% during the 2nd quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 858 shares of the company’s stock worth $72,000 after acquiring an additional 141 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.34% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:MRK traded up $1.60 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $85.06. The stock had a trading volume of 8,550,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,547,986. The company has a current ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $66.10 and a 1-year high of $87.07. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $83.38 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $80.94. The company has a market cap of $213.54 billion, a PE ratio of 19.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 21.10% and a return on equity of 43.34%. The company had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.06 earnings per share. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 50.69%.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 216,718 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.43, for a total value of $18,514,218.74. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 354,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,274,512.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Richard R. Deluca sold 6,427 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $546,873.43. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 103,223 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,783,245.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.27% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on MRK. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. Argus raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 7th. UBS Group raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $87.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 21st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $92.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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