Oakbrook Investments LLC Sells 22,090 Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Oakbrook Investments LLC decreased its holdings in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 3.7% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 567,815 shares of the company’s stock after selling 22,090 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. comprises 2.3% of Oakbrook Investments LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 6th largest holding. Oakbrook Investments LLC’s holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $36,357,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of MRK. Oxbow Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 18.8% during the first quarter. Oxbow Advisors LLC now owns 11,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $730,000 after buying an additional 1,820 shares during the period. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. now owns 504,510 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,057,000 after purchasing an additional 1,429 shares during the period. Linscomb & Williams Inc. boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 8.5% in the first quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. now owns 71,518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,544,000 after purchasing an additional 5,580 shares during the period. Brookstone Capital Management boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 11.9% in the first quarter. Brookstone Capital Management now owns 95,442 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,064,000 after purchasing an additional 10,132 shares during the period. Finally, Arete Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. by 2.7% in the first quarter. Arete Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 13,682 shares of the company’s stock valued at $869,000 after purchasing an additional 365 shares during the period. 73.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on MRK. ValuEngine upgraded Merck & Co., Inc. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Barclays lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $72.00 to $62.00 in a report on Monday, October 30th. UBS Group decreased their target price on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 30th. BMO Capital Markets set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE MRK) traded up $1.06 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $58.66. The company had a trading volume of 11,760,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,430,000. The firm has a market cap of $159,990.00, a PE ratio of 56.95, a PEG ratio of 2.84 and a beta of 0.76. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 1 year low of $53.63 and a 1 year high of $66.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.08. Merck & Co., Inc. had a negative return on equity of 0.58% and a negative net margin of 0.49%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.27%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This is a positive change from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Merck & Co., Inc.’s payout ratio is currently 186.41%.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile

Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.

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

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