Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) is Bank of the Ozarks’ 7th Largest Position

Bank of the Ozarks lowered its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) by 2.6% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 61,357 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,631 shares during the quarter. Merck & Co., Inc. makes up about 1.6% of Bank of the Ozarks’ holdings, making the stock its 7th biggest position. Bank of the Ozarks’ holdings in Merck & Co., Inc. were worth $3,928,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 194,144,317 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,442,709,000 after purchasing an additional 3,312,459 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 184,997,390 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,856,484,000 after purchasing an additional 1,834,500 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 3.1% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,019,572 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,731,684,000 after purchasing an additional 801,033 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 14,564,388 shares of the company’s stock worth $933,445,000 after purchasing an additional 192,348 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Merck & Co., Inc. by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 13,134,739 shares of the company’s stock worth $841,805,000 after purchasing an additional 171,411 shares during the period. 73.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, Director Thomas H. Glocer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.20, for a total transaction of $281,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the company. Barclays lowered Merck & Co., Inc. from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $72.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Monday, October 30th. UBS Group reduced their price target on Merck & Co., Inc. from $72.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note 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 research note on Wednesday, October 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $70.00 price target on Merck & Co., Inc. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. Finally, Citigroup raised Merck & Co., Inc. to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Merck & Co., Inc. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.29.

Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) opened at $56.99 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $155,430.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 55.33, a PEG ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. Merck & Co., Inc. has a twelve month low of $53.63 and a twelve month high of $66.80.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 27th. The company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.03 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.54 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 11.60%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. research analysts predict that Merck & Co., Inc. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current year.

Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.37%. This is an increase from Merck & Co., Inc.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 186.41%.

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About Merck & Co., Inc.

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.

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

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