Benin Management CORP Acquires 1,000 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Benin Management CORP boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 24.0% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 5,173 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Benin Management CORP’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $471,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Atwater Malick LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter worth $57,000. 1 North Wealth Services LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter worth $58,000. American National Bank bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter worth $67,000. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 23.3% during the 3rd quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 793 shares of the company’s stock worth $67,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. Finally, Balentine LLC increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 58.4% during the 3rd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 933 shares of the company’s stock worth $79,000 after buying an additional 344 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.51% of the company’s stock.

MRK stock opened at $88.56 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $228.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.74, a P/E/G ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.52. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $90.26 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $85.77. The company has a current ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $72.05 and a 1-year high of $92.64.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The company reported $1.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.27. The firm had revenue of $12.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.59 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 48.16% and a net margin of 20.26%. The business’s revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.19 earnings per share. As a group, analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 8th. Investors of record on Monday, December 16th were paid a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.76%. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 13th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 56.22%.

In related news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 102,073 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.34, for a total transaction of $9,119,201.82. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 106,099 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,478,884.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have weighed in on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $96.00 price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. Bank of America assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $90.00 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine cut Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 14th. UBS Group increased their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $94.00 to $99.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Monday, January 6th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $99.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $96.38.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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