NS Partners Ltd Buys Shares of 2,700 Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)

NS Partners Ltd bought a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor bought 2,700 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $206,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the business. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 973.1% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 770,416 shares of the company’s stock worth $58,866,000 after buying an additional 698,622 shares during the period. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 20.4% in the fourth quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 1,837,508 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,403,000 after buying an additional 311,732 shares during the period. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 41.4% in the fourth quarter. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 11,717 shares of the company’s stock worth $895,000 after buying an additional 3,430 shares during the period. King Luther Capital Management Corp increased its position in Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp now owns 1,719,835 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,413,000 after buying an additional 22,395 shares during the period. Finally, NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. in the fourth quarter worth $1,176,000. 73.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, major shareholder Merck & Co., Inc. bought 4,121,683 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 8th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $16.00 per share, with a total value of $65,946,928.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Kenneth C. Frazier sold 92,913 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.03, for a total value of $7,435,827.39. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 784,863 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $62,812,585.89. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 766,625 shares of company stock valued at $62,212,275 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have weighed in on MRK. Zacks Investment Research raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Friday, March 29th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. ValuEngine raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, Argus raised their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. to $95.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $82.92.

Shares of MRK opened at $77.55 on Thursday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a one year low of $57.49 and a one year high of $83.85. The firm has a market cap of $207.80 billion, a PE ratio of 17.87, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.58. The company has a current ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.17. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 39.85% and a net margin of 19.50%. The business had revenue of $10.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.45 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.05 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 4.72 EPS for the current year.

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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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