Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Bank of Nova Scotia

Bank of Nova Scotia trimmed its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 53.1% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 992,130 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,121,514 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $77,160,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.6% during the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 42,774,518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,289,283,000 after purchasing an additional 671,918 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.6% during the 1st quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 35,455,780 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,733,289,000 after acquiring an additional 6,063,098 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.1% during the 1st quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 24,733,151 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,906,680,000 after acquiring an additional 2,063,255 shares during the last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 21,656,867 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,684,253,000 after acquiring an additional 430,292 shares during the last quarter. Finally, LSV Asset Management boosted its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 47.8% during the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 14,306,091 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,112,584,000 after acquiring an additional 4,628,832 shares during the last quarter. 71.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MRK has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. SVB Leerink increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $99.00 to $101.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price objective on shares of 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. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $82.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 24th. Truist Securities assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, July 27th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $76.79 price target on the stock. Finally, Truist assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, July 27th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $92.00 price target on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $91.09.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $73.36 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $185.70 billion, a PE ratio of 33.50, a P/E/G ratio of 2.16 and a beta of 0.41. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $75.72 and its 200 day moving average price is $76.52. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $70.89 and a fifty-two week high of $85.60. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 28th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.31. The firm had revenue of $11.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.21 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 11.48% and a return on equity of 50.93%. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.37 EPS. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.51 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 15th will be given a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 14th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.54%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.77%.

Merck & Co., Inc. 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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