Wealthsource Partners LLC Sells 1,337 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

Wealthsource Partners LLC lowered its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 11.2% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 10,631 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,337 shares during the quarter. Wealthsource Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $681,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of MRK. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 172.3% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 6,705,564 shares of the company’s stock valued at $429,347,000 after purchasing an additional 4,243,246 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 55.3% during the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 9,623,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $616,185,000 after purchasing an additional 3,428,400 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,442,709,000 after purchasing an additional 3,312,459 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 95,700.4% during the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 3,281,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $210,016,000 after purchasing an additional 3,277,738 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 415.5% during the 3rd quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,560,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $227,977,000 after purchasing an additional 2,869,844 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.85% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on MRK shares. SunTrust Banks upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $54.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Jefferies Group restated a “sell” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Leerink Swann lowered their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.88.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 101,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,254,458.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Michael J. Holston sold 12,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total value of $770,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) opened at $55.43 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $53.36 and a 1-year high of $66.80. The company has a market capitalization of $149,489.86, a P/E ratio of 59.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 0.75.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.04. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.73% and a net margin of 6.40%. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.48 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.89 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.15 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.46%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 206.45%.

Merck & Co., Inc. declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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Merck & Co., Inc. 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.

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

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