Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Acquires 614,792 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 13.3% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 5,252,251 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 614,792 shares during the quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $404,896,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Curi Capital acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Paradigm Strategies in Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 1st quarter valued at $30,000. Retirement Group LLC bought a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth $32,000. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 1st quarter worth about $46,000. Finally, Safeguard Investment Advisory Group LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter valued at about $50,000. 71.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 19,324 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.32, for a total value of $1,513,455.68. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several research firms recently commented on MRK. Argus reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, May 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $100.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 9th. SVB Leerink lowered their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $102.00 to $99.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, June 3rd. Finally, Truist Securities reduced their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $96.00 to $93.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 7th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $97.00.

NYSE MRK traded up $0.24 on Thursday, hitting $76.63. 195,877 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,293,524. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 1.02. The stock has a market capitalization of $194.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.06, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.41. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $76.97. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $71.71 and a 12 month high of $87.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by ($0.23). Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 14.64% and a return on equity of 54.15%. The firm had revenue of $12.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.71 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.50 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.57 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 4th were issued a dividend of $0.65 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 3rd. This represents a dividend yield of 3.42%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 43.77%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc engages in the provision of health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. It operates through the following segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, and Other. The Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products.

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

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