Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Position Lifted by Korea Investment CORP

Korea Investment CORP increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 2,328,153 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 12,000 shares during the period. Korea Investment CORP owned about 0.09% of Merck & Co., Inc. worth $141,319,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 13.6% during the 1st quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 49,101,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,674,552,000 after purchasing an additional 5,880,457 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $232,626,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.8% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 12,486,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $757,959,000 after purchasing an additional 3,682,328 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 9.2% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 38,653,047 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,346,241,000 after purchasing an additional 3,242,430 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management LTD boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4,320.3% during the 2nd quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 3,096,008 shares of the company’s stock valued at $187,928,000 after purchasing an additional 3,025,967 shares during the last quarter. 72.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:MRK opened at $69.81 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $52.83 and a 12 month high of $72.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $191.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.81.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 27th. The company reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.03. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 3.67% and a return on equity of 32.68%. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.28 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.01 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.27 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Monday, September 17th were issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 48.24%.

In related news, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 279,850 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.07, for a total value of $20,168,789.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 971,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $70,037,626. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Kenneth C. Frazier sold 228,091 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $14,825,915.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 938,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $61,021,220. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 929,360 shares of company stock valued at $64,370,599. 0.32% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several research analysts have commented on MRK shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. Guggenheim started coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, October 8th. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Morgan Stanley set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Finally, Bank of America increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $69.61.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

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