Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV Boosts Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV increased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 8.8% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 19,777 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,600 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for 1.1% of Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV’s portfolio, making the stock its 17th biggest holding. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,641,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter valued at approximately $102,394,000. Personal Capital Advisors Corp grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.9% in the 2nd quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 75,736 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,857,000 after purchasing an additional 8,048 shares during the period. Capital Asset Advisory Services LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 15.2% during the 1st quarter. Capital Asset Advisory Services LLC now owns 8,079 shares of the company’s stock valued at $629,000 after buying an additional 1,066 shares during the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.1% during the 2nd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 1,372,241 shares of the company’s stock valued at $106,115,000 after buying an additional 209,990 shares during the period. Finally, First PREMIER Bank boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 5.2% in the 2nd quarter. First PREMIER Bank now owns 27,864 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,154,000 after buying an additional 1,389 shares during the last quarter. 73.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

MRK opened at $79.83 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $201.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a current ratio of 1.32. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $83.27 and its 200 day moving average is $80.42. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $65.25 and a fifty-two week high of $92.64.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 52.94% and a net margin of 22.20%. The business had revenue of $10.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.52 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.30 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 47.01%.

A number of research firms have weighed in on MRK. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, September 22nd. SVB Leerink upped their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 25th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, August 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday. Finally, Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, September 29th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $88.00 price target on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.08.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 10,380 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.01, for a total value of $861,643.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total transaction of $20,360,651.19. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 422,329 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,221,318.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 280,529 shares of company stock worth $22,761,633. 0.28% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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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