Ardevora Asset Management LLP Sells 119,118 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Ardevora Asset Management LLP reduced its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 43.1% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 157,288 shares of the company’s stock after selling 119,118 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 1.5% of Ardevora Asset Management LLP’s portfolio, making the stock its 10th largest holding. Ardevora Asset Management LLP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $17,148,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Onyx Bridge Wealth Group LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. Onyx Bridge Wealth Group LLC now owns 19,166 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,089,000 after buying an additional 83 shares during the last quarter. Ironwood Wealth Management LLC. increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.5% in the 4th quarter. Ironwood Wealth Management LLC. now owns 5,612 shares of the company’s stock valued at $612,000 after buying an additional 83 shares during the last quarter. Ascent Wealth Partners LLC increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. Ascent Wealth Partners LLC now owns 16,579 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,807,000 after buying an additional 89 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Bancorp Inc. increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.5% in the 4th quarter. Pinnacle Bancorp Inc. now owns 6,158 shares of the company’s stock valued at $671,000 after buying an additional 89 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 4,811 shares of the company’s stock valued at $524,000 after buying an additional 92 shares during the last quarter. 76.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of brokerages have recently commented on MRK. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 27th. StockNews.com raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Truist Financial reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $142.00 price objective (up previously from $139.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday, March 28th. UBS Group lifted their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $135.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Thursday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the company presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $131.25.

Read Our Latest Research Report on MRK

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

Shares of MRK stock traded up $0.55 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $125.78. 8,404,345 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,808,079. The firm has a market capitalization of $318.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 898.43, a PEG ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.25. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $126.18 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $115.09. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $99.14 and a 52 week high of $133.10.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.09) by $0.12. The business had revenue of $14.63 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $14.49 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 0.61% and a return on equity of 9.33%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.62 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.59 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th were issued a $0.77 dividend. This represents a $3.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.45%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 2,200.00%.

Insider Buying and Selling at Merck & Co., Inc.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total value of $6,420,395.10. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 23,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,991,346.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total value of $6,420,395.10. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 23,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,991,346.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total transaction of $124,890.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,443,972.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

(Free Report)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes under the Keytruda, Bridion, Adempas, Lagevrio, Belsomra, Simponi, and Januvia brands, as well as vaccine products consisting of preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines under the Gardasil/Gardasil 9, ProQuad, M-M-R II, Varivax, RotaTeq, Live Oral, Vaxneuvance, Pneumovax 23, and Vaqta names.

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

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