Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Heartland Bank & Trust Co

Heartland Bank & Trust Co cut its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 16.6% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 11,035 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,191 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. accounts for about 0.8% of Heartland Bank & Trust Co’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd biggest holding. Heartland Bank & Trust Co’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,203,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ascent Wealth Partners LLC grew its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. Ascent Wealth Partners LLC now owns 16,579 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,807,000 after acquiring an additional 89 shares in the last quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% during the 4th quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 4,811 shares of the company’s stock worth $524,000 after buying an additional 92 shares during the period. Bell Bank lifted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. Bell Bank now owns 9,235 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,007,000 after buying an additional 92 shares in the last quarter. Prosperity Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Prosperity Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,365 shares of the company’s stock valued at $388,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the period. Finally, Bath Savings Trust Co grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 5,539 shares of the company’s stock worth $604,000 after acquiring an additional 98 shares in the last quarter. 76.07% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

Shares of NYSE:MRK traded up $0.39 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $130.74. The stock had a trading volume of 2,372,747 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,617,019. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $99.14 and a 1 year high of $133.10. The company has a current ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $125.45 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $113.20. The company has a market capitalization of $331.12 billion, a PE ratio of 931.07, a P/E/G ratio of 0.52 and a beta of 0.38.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.03 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by $0.12. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 0.61% and a return on equity of 9.33%. The firm had revenue of $14.63 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $14.49 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.62 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a $0.77 dividend. This represents a $3.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is 2,200.00%.

Analyst Ratings Changes

MRK has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. UBS Group increased their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $135.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. StockNews.com raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Wells Fargo & Company raised their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. TheStreet cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b+” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, March 4th. Finally, Truist Financial restated a “buy” rating and issued a $142.00 price objective (up previously from $139.00) on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, March 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $129.71.

Read Our Latest Research Report on MRK

Insider Buying and Selling at Merck & Co., Inc.

In other news, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total transaction of $124,890.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,443,972.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. In other news, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.65, for a total transaction of $6,420,395.10. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,619 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,991,346.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.89, for a total value of $124,890.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 19,569 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,443,972.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About Merck & Co., Inc.

(Free Report)

Merck & Co, Inc operates as a healthcare company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The Pharmaceutical segment offers human health pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology, hospital acute care, immunology, neuroscience, virology, cardiovascular, and diabetes under the Keytruda, Bridion, Adempas, Lagevrio, Belsomra, Simponi, and Januvia brands, as well as vaccine products consisting of preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines under the Gardasil/Gardasil 9, ProQuad, M-M-R II, Varivax, RotaTeq, Live Oral, Vaxneuvance, Pneumovax 23, and Vaqta names.

Featured Stories

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MRK? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Merck & Co. Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.