Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Shares Bought by Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd.

Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.8% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 111,061 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 4,050 shares during the period. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises about 0.8% of Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd.’s portfolio, making the stock its 22nd largest holding. Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $8,486,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp increased its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.8% in the 4th quarter. UNIVEST FINANCIAL Corp now owns 15,030 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,148,000 after buying an additional 961 shares in the last quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 60,665 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,635,000 after purchasing an additional 2,533 shares during the period. Cavalier Investments LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 4th quarter valued at about $1,195,000. First Personal Financial Services grew its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 118.2% during the 4th quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 9,182 shares of the company’s stock valued at $702,000 after purchasing an additional 4,974 shares during the period. Finally, PointState Capital LP bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. during the 3rd quarter valued at about $8,513,000. Institutional investors own 73.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have issued reports on MRK. Bank of America boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $90.00 to $91.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 1st. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. Argus boosted their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $82.92.

Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $77.90 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $213.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.95, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.58. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52-week low of $56.26 and a 52-week high of $83.85. The company has a quick ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 1.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. The company had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.45 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 38.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.05 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Kenneth C. Frazier sold 92,913 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.03, for a total transaction of $7,435,827.39. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 784,863 shares in the company, valued at approximately $62,812,585.89. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.71, for a total value of $393,550.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $401,421. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 888,066 shares of company stock valued at $71,800,379. 0.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck & Co, Inc provides healthcare solutions worldwide. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services, and Alliances. The company offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, intra-abdominal, fungal infection, insomnia, and inflammatory diseases.

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

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