Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Poplar Forest Capital LLC

Poplar Forest Capital LLC reduced its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 2.8% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 228,347 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,507 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up about 4.1% of Poplar Forest Capital LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 5th biggest holding. Poplar Forest Capital LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $30,130,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Chase Investment Counsel Corp raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.2% in the 1st quarter. Chase Investment Counsel Corp now owns 8,360 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,103,000 after acquiring an additional 259 shares in the last quarter. Hudock Inc. raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.5% in the 1st quarter. Hudock Inc. now owns 26,764 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,532,000 after acquiring an additional 2,538 shares in the last quarter. Summit Financial Wealth Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. Summit Financial Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 73,985 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,762,000 after acquiring an additional 1,605 shares in the last quarter. Magnolia Capital Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.6% in the 1st quarter. Magnolia Capital Advisors LLC now owns 17,640 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,219,000 after acquiring an additional 1,685 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.7% in the 1st quarter. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC now owns 9,712 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,281,000 after acquiring an additional 1,019 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 Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $126.08 on Wednesday. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $128.99 and its 200 day simple moving average is $125.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $319.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 140.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 0.38. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $99.14 and a 12 month high of $134.63. The company has a current ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $2.07 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.94 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $15.78 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.21 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 14.05% and a net margin of 3.76%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.40 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 8.62 EPS for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. Dividend Announcement

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 17th were given a $0.77 dividend. This represents a $3.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.44%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 17th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 342.22%.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

MRK has been the subject of several analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their price objective on Merck & Co., Inc. from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $155.00 price objective on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, June 18th. Argus upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 5th. Berenberg Bank lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $140.00 to $143.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 8th. Finally, Truist Financial lifted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $142.00 to $143.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $133.00.

Read Our Latest Stock Analysis on Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

(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.

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

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