Farmers Trust Co. Grows Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)


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Farmers Trust Co. increased its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.6% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 5,461 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 192 shares during the period. Farmers Trust Co.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $421,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter worth about $2,250,767,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.4% during the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 24,251,965 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,983,811,000 after purchasing an additional 4,112,158 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.7% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 22,569,366 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,846,174,000 after purchasing an additional 3,221,509 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 18,956,192 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,550,617,000 after purchasing an additional 139,485 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 31.6% during the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 13,542,412 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,107,769,000 after purchasing an additional 3,252,367 shares during the period. 72.86% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NYSE:MRK opened at $76.31 on Monday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $71.71 and a one year high of $87.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.30. The firm has a market cap of $193.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.43. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $75.40 and a 200-day simple moving average of $78.95.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 3rd. The company reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.38 by ($0.06). Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 24.33% and a return on equity of 53.83%. The business had revenue of $12.51 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.65 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.16 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 15th were issued a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 12th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.41%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 50.10%.

Separately, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, February 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.92.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health segments. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, diabetes, and women's health, as well as and vaccine products.

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

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