Ascent Wealth Partners LLC Buys 89 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Ascent Wealth Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRKFree Report) by 0.5% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 16,579 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 89 shares during the period. Ascent Wealth Partners LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $1,807,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.9% during the fourth quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 4,811 shares of the company’s stock worth $524,000 after purchasing an additional 92 shares during the last quarter. Prosperity Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.9% during the second quarter. Prosperity Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,365 shares of the company’s stock worth $388,000 after purchasing an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 5,539 shares of the company’s stock worth $604,000 after purchasing an additional 98 shares during the last quarter. King Wealth boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% during the third quarter. King Wealth now owns 7,440 shares of the company’s stock worth $766,000 after purchasing an additional 99 shares during the last quarter. Finally, LifePro Asset Management boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% during the third quarter. LifePro Asset Management now owns 7,669 shares of the company’s stock worth $790,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.07% of the company’s stock.

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Performance

Merck & Co., Inc. stock traded down $1.45 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $130.50. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,563,724 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,687,369. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1-year low of $99.14 and a 1-year high of $133.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 1.25 and a quick ratio of 1.00. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $125.01 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $112.88. The company has a market cap of $330.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 931.64, a PEG ratio of 0.52 and a beta of 0.38.

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

Merck & Co., Inc. Announces Dividend

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

Insider Activity

In related news, insider Joseph Romanelli sold 1,000 shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 19,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,443,972.41. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 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 value of $124,890.00. Following the sale, 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Steven Mizell sold 50,694 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 $2,991,346.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of analysts have commented on the stock. Societe Generale cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $104.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, March 11th. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $135.00 to $148.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. TheStreet cut shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “b+” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Monday, March 4th. StockNews.com upgraded shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company increased their price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $129.71.

Read Our Latest Research Report on Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. Company 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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