Valley National Advisers Inc. Has $1.06 Million Stock Position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Valley National Advisers Inc. trimmed its position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 1.5% in the third quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 14,042 shares of the company’s stock after selling 208 shares during the period. Valley National Advisers Inc.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,055,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of MRK. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 100.2% during the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 25,872,992 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,971,651,000 after purchasing an additional 12,948,754 shares during the last quarter. Amundi acquired a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. during the 2nd quarter valued at $784,989,000. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1,324.3% during the 2nd quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 10,145,652 shares of the company’s stock valued at $789,028,000 after purchasing an additional 9,433,323 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 67.3% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 10,357,873 shares of the company’s stock valued at $805,532,000 after purchasing an additional 4,165,565 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 17.1% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 26,289,496 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,044,534,000 after purchasing an additional 3,832,086 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.43% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms recently commented on MRK. Citigroup cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $105.00 to $85.00 in a research note on Monday, November 29th. Truist Securities increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 24th. UBS Group cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $98.00 to $76.00 in a research note on Monday, December 13th. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $92.00 to $94.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, November 1st. Finally, Daiwa Capital Markets initiated coverage on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Thursday, December 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 price objective for the company. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Merck & Co., Inc. has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $91.65.

In other news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 24,619 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Friday, October 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.32, for a total transaction of $2,149,731.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Caroline Litchfield sold 18,335 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.00, for a total value of $1,668,485.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 936,784 shares of company stock valued at $78,682,559 over the last three months. 0.32% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of MRK traded up $0.05 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $81.37. 127,388 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,512,449. The company has a market cap of $205.54 billion, a PE ratio of 28.63, a P/E/G ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.49. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $70.89 and a 52 week high of $91.40. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $78.27 and a 200 day simple moving average of $77.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 1.31 and a quick ratio of 1.07.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 27th. The company reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.55 by $0.20. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 14.64% and a return on equity of 48.21%. The business had revenue of $13.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.32 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.74 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.8 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 15th were paid a $0.69 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 14th. This is a boost from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $2.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.39%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 97.53%.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc engages in the provision of health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. It operates through the following segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, and Other. The Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products.

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

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