NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. Reduces Stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. trimmed its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 27.0% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 973,989 shares of the company’s stock after selling 360,018 shares during the quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V.’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $75,317,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRK. Toth Financial Advisory Corp bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at approximately $32,000. CBIZ Investment Advisory Services LLC raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 180.7% in the first quarter. CBIZ Investment Advisory Services LLC now owns 421 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,000 after purchasing an additional 271 shares during the period. Lion Street Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the first quarter valued at approximately $35,000. Lake Point Wealth Management raised its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 159.0% in the first quarter. Lake Point Wealth Management now owns 518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,000 after purchasing an additional 318 shares during the period. Finally, Watson Rebecca bought a new stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in the second quarter valued at approximately $48,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.26% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:MRK traded down $0.59 on Thursday, reaching $81.05. 384,927 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,115,674. The company has a market capitalization of $204.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.78, a PEG ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a current ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 12 month low of $65.25 and a 12 month high of $92.64. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $78.15 and its 200 day simple moving average is $79.76.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 31st. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.23. The business had revenue of $10.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.52 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 22.20% and a return on equity of 53.61%. Merck & Co., Inc.’s revenue was down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.30 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 5.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 7th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is presently 47.01%.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on MRK shares. UBS Group decreased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $96.00 to $92.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 13th. Guggenheim decreased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $101.00 to $93.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. SVB Leerink decreased their target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from $98.00 to $95.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a report on Monday, May 4th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, June 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $94.93.

In other news, EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 36,285 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total transaction of $2,902,800.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 62,862 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,028,960. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

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.

Further Reading: Price to Earnings Ratio (PE)

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

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