Breton Hill Capital Ltd. Purchases 20,577 Shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Breton Hill Capital Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 84.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 44,981 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 20,577 shares during the period. Merck & Company comprises approximately 0.6% of Breton Hill Capital Ltd.’s holdings, making the stock its 25th largest position. Breton Hill Capital Ltd.’s holdings in Merck & Company were worth $2,858,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Hunter Associates Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Merck & Company by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Hunter Associates Investment Management LLC now owns 12,909 shares of the company’s stock valued at $760,000 after buying an additional 546 shares in the last quarter. CWA Asset Management Group LLC increased its stake in Merck & Company by 28.6% in the fourth quarter. CWA Asset Management Group LLC now owns 23,833 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,403,000 after buying an additional 5,297 shares in the last quarter. Amtrust Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Merck & Company during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,006,000. Coho Partners Ltd. increased its stake in Merck & Company by 6,713.8% in the fourth quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 1,232,267 shares of the company’s stock valued at $72,544,000 after buying an additional 1,214,182 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LVW Advisors LLC increased its stake in Merck & Company by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. LVW Advisors LLC now owns 11,889 shares of the company’s stock valued at $700,000 after buying an additional 463 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.76% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK) opened at 63.06 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $64.44 and its 200-day moving average price is $63.36. The stock has a market cap of $172.48 billion, a PE ratio of 40.19 and a beta of 0.81. Merck & Company, Inc. has a 12 month low of $57.18 and a 12 month high of $66.80.

Merck & Company (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.05. Merck & Company had a return on equity of 24.99% and a net margin of 15.32%. The company had revenue of $9.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.89 earnings per share. Merck & Company’s revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Merck & Company, Inc. will post $3.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th were issued a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. Merck & Company’s payout ratio is currently 85.84%.

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Several equities research analysts have recently commented on MRK shares. Leerink Swann restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Merck & Company in a report on Monday, March 20th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Company in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. HSBC Holdings plc downgraded Merck & Company from a “hold” rating to a “reduce” rating in a report on Friday, April 7th. Cowen and Company reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Merck & Company in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target (down previously from $52.00) on shares of Merck & Company in a report on Saturday, April 22nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $69.26.

In related news, Director C Robert Kidder sold 5,000 shares of Merck & Company stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.54, for a total value of $317,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 14,317 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $909,702.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Company Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Merck & Company (NYSE:MRK)

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