Linscomb & Williams Inc. Boosts Stock Holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Linscomb & Williams Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.3% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 39,944 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 497 shares during the period. Linscomb & Williams Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,079,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the business. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth about $2,250,767,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.4% during the fourth 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 holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 16.7% during the fourth 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 holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.7% during the fourth 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, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 25.8% during the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 11,822,416 shares of the company’s stock worth $967,060,000 after purchasing an additional 2,428,079 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.98% of the company’s stock.

In other Merck & Co., Inc. news, EVP Frank Clyburn sold 19,324 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.32, for a total transaction of $1,513,455.68. 0.32% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on MRK shares. Truist Securities dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $96.00 to $93.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday. SVB Leerink dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $102.00 to $99.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, June 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $105.00 to $100.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Argus restated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Thursday, May 20th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $96.11.

Shares of NYSE MRK opened at $76.14 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a fifty-two week low of $71.71 and a fifty-two week high of $87.80. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $76.85. The company has a market capitalization of $192.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.40. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The company reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.63 by ($0.23). Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 14.64% and a return on equity of 54.15%. The business had revenue of $12.08 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.71 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.50 EPS. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue for the quarter was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 6.47 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 4th were paid a dividend of $0.65 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 3.42%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 3rd. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 43.77%.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

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 vaccine products.

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

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