Tower Bridge Advisors Lowers Position in Merck & Co. (MRK)

Tower Bridge Advisors reduced its position in Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) by 36.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 67,085 shares of the company’s stock after selling 37,964 shares during the period. Tower Bridge Advisors’ holdings in Merck & Co. were worth $3,654,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Santori & Peters Inc. purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter valued at about $110,000. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors grew its holdings in Merck & Co. by 79.3% during the 4th quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors now owns 2,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 920 shares in the last quarter. Avestar Capital LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter valued at about $130,000. WealthTrust Arizona LLC grew its holdings in Merck & Co. by 103.7% during the 4th quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 2,495 shares of the company’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 1,270 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management purchased a new position in Merck & Co. during the 4th quarter valued at about $156,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.14% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on MRK shares. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, April 25th. Goldman Sachs raised Merck & Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $60.15 to $58.83 in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 17th. Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co. in a report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, Leerink Swann reduced their target price on Merck & Co. from $67.00 to $66.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.87.

Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $59.14 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $159.45 billion, a PE ratio of 14.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a quick ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.42 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. Merck & Co. has a 12 month low of $52.83 and a 12 month high of $66.41.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $10.04 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.09 billion. Merck & Co. had a return on equity of 30.93% and a net margin of 4.31%. Merck & Co.’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.88 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co. will post 4.23 EPS for the current year.

In other Merck & Co. news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 9,972 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.66, for a total value of $594,929.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 24,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $1,392,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Merck & Co. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates in four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, and fertility diseases.

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

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