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Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Shares Sold by Coastline Trust Co

Merck & Co., Inc. logoCoastline Trust Co reduced its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 16.2% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 48,925 shares of the company’s stock after selling 9,460 shares during the period. Coastline Trust Co’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $4,058,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Toth Financial Advisory Corp purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $32,000. Lake Point Wealth Management increased its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 159.0% in the 1st quarter. Lake Point Wealth Management now owns 518 shares of the company’s stock worth $40,000 after purchasing an additional 318 shares in the last quarter. Provident Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 3rd quarter worth about $43,000. Estate Counselors LLC purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $45,000. Finally, Watson Rebecca purchased a new position in Merck & Co., Inc. in the 2nd quarter worth about $48,000. 73.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. stock opened at $79.83 on Friday. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $65.25 and a 1 year high of $92.64. The business has a 50-day moving average of $83.27 and a two-hundred day moving average of $80.42. The company has a market capitalization of $201.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 1.32 and a quick ratio of 1.05.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.23. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 52.94% and a net margin of 22.20%. The company had revenue of $10.87 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.52 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.30 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 14th. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 47.01%.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on MRK shares. Goldman Sachs Group raised Merck & Co., Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $91.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Monday, August 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $89.00 price target on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Tuesday, June 23rd. ValuEngine lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, October 1st. Finally, Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report on Tuesday, September 29th. They set a “hold” rating and a $88.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.08.

In related news, insider Sanat Chattopadhyay sold 10,380 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.01, for a total transaction of $861,643.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Robert M. Davis sold 251,273 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.03, for a total value of $20,360,651.19. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 422,329 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $34,221,318.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 280,529 shares of company stock valued at $22,761,633. 0.28% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Merck & Co., Inc. Profile

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.

Further Reading: Why are analyst ratings important in trading stocks?

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

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