FARMERS & MERCHANTS TRUST Co OF LONG BEACH Grows Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

FARMERS & MERCHANTS TRUST Co OF LONG BEACH boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 11.2% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 9,020 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 909 shares during the quarter. FARMERS & MERCHANTS TRUST Co OF LONG BEACH’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $678,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State Street Corp raised its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 114,073,945 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,943,537,000 after purchasing an additional 1,385,011 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.4% in the 2nd quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 44,209,748 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,429,289,000 after buying an additional 1,435,230 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.4% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 38,804,709 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,017,843,000 after buying an additional 3,348,929 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.8% in the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 26,293,818 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,044,871,000 after buying an additional 3,594,415 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.1% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 26,289,496 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,044,534,000 after buying an additional 3,832,086 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.79% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CFO Caroline Litchfield sold 18,335 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.00, for a total transaction of $1,668,485.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 39,762 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.87, for a total transaction of $3,493,886.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 936,784 shares of company stock valued at $78,682,559 over the last 90 days. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $92.00 price target (up previously from $86.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Sunday, October 10th. SVB Leerink raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $104.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 22nd. Argus upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, November 1st. Truist Securities raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Mizuho began coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, October 28th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $99.00 price objective for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.73.

NYSE:MRK traded down $0.52 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $82.28. 8,534,741 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 12,415,974. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 1.07 and a current ratio of 1.31. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $80.47 and its 200 day simple moving average is $78.04. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $70.89 and a 1 year high of $91.40. The company has a market cap of $207.83 billion, a PE ratio of 29.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.46.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 27th. The company reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.55 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 14.64% and a return on equity of 48.21%. The firm had revenue of $13.15 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.32 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.74 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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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