Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Purchased by Nomura Holdings Inc.

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Nomura Holdings Inc. increased its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 298.0% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 222,517 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 166,609 shares during the period. Nomura Holdings Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $18,822,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Stillwater Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.6% in the second quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 4,796 shares of the company’s stock valued at $402,000 after purchasing an additional 120 shares during the period. Southeast Asset Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% in the second quarter. Southeast Asset Advisors Inc. now owns 5,349 shares of the company’s stock valued at $449,000 after purchasing an additional 120 shares during the period. Pensionmark Financial Group LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.2% in the second quarter. Pensionmark Financial Group LLC now owns 3,057 shares of the company’s stock valued at $258,000 after purchasing an additional 124 shares during the period. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC now owns 43,677 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,671,000 after purchasing an additional 126 shares during the period. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the second quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC now owns 40,683 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,411,000 after purchasing an additional 128 shares during the period. 74.97% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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

MRK has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Societe Generale set a $105.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $97.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Sunday, September 8th. Citigroup lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $93.29.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded up $1.36 during trading on Friday, reaching $85.33. 404,956 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,392,823. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $66.10 and a 52-week high of $87.35. The company has a market capitalization of $211.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.68, a PEG ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $84.89 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $81.95.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.14. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 43.34% and a net margin of 21.10%. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.06 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.58%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 50.69%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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