Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Brookstone Capital Management

Brookstone Capital Management reduced its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 18.2% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 87,012 shares of the company’s stock after selling 19,342 shares during the period. Brookstone Capital Management’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $5,282,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.6% in the 1st quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 49,101,614 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,674,552,000 after purchasing an additional 5,880,457 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.3% during the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 10,609,836 shares of the company’s stock valued at $577,918,000 after acquiring an additional 238,896 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.3% during the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 9,567,645 shares of the company’s stock valued at $521,150,000 after acquiring an additional 1,125,931 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.8% during the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 8,742,471 shares of the company’s stock valued at $530,668,000 after acquiring an additional 479,302 shares during the period. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.7% during the second quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 7,928,206 shares of the company’s stock valued at $481,242,000 after acquiring an additional 279,948 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.18% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MRK. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday. Guggenheim began coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Bank of America lifted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 22nd. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, July 15th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $68.61.

In related news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 29,208 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.20, for a total value of $1,904,361.60. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 70,675 shares in the company, valued at $4,608,010. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Adam H. Schechter sold 107,360 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.18, for a total transaction of $7,534,524.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 100,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,018,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 929,360 shares of company stock valued at $64,370,599 in the last quarter. 0.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded up $0.43 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $71.46. 7,968,500 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,630,063. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $52.83 and a 1 year high of $72.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $191.27 billion, a PE ratio of 17.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.04.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th were issued a $0.48 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.69%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.

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.

See Also: Market Capitalization, Large-Caps, Mid-Caps, Small-Caps

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

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