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Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Decreased Its Merck & Co (MRK) Stake by $519,624; Valuation Declined; Altria Group (MO) Shareholder Fulton Bank Has Cut Stake as Share Value Declined

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Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc decreased its stake in Merck & Co Inc (MRK) by 0.84% based on its latest 2017Q4 regulatory filing with the SEC. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc sold 9,279 shares as the company’s stock declined 4.63% with the market. The institutional investor held 1.10M shares of the health care company at the end of 2017Q4, valued at $61.90M, down from 1.11M at the end of the previous reported quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc who had been investing in Merck & Co Inc for a number of months, seems to be less bullish one the $158.81B market cap company. The stock decreased 1.21% or $0.7201 during the last trading session, reaching $59.0299. About 5.86 million shares traded. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has declined 14.94% since May 17, 2017 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 26.49% the S&P500.

Fulton Bank decreased its stake in Altria Group Inc (MO) by 10.57% based on its latest 2017Q4 regulatory filing with the SEC. Fulton Bank sold 11,145 shares as the company’s stock declined 15.83% with the market. The institutional investor held 94,260 shares of the farming and seeds and milling company at the end of 2017Q4, valued at $6.73M, down from 105,405 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Fulton Bank who had been investing in Altria Group Inc for a number of months, seems to be less bullish one the $104.77 billion market cap company. The stock increased 0.79% or $0.435 during the last trading session, reaching $55.305. About 7.80M shares traded. Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) has declined 17.05% since May 17, 2017 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 28.60% the S&P500.

Investors sentiment decreased to 0.94 in Q4 2017. Its down 0.12, from 1.06 in 2017Q3. It fall, as 94 investors sold MRK shares while 631 reduced holdings. 123 funds opened positions while 558 raised stakes. 1.93 billion shares or 1.34% less from 1.96 billion shares in 2017Q3 were reported. Schmidt P J Invest Mngmt Inc invested in 61,394 shares or 0.98% of the stock. Savant owns 18,539 shares or 0.22% of their US portfolio. Hardman Johnston Glob Advsr Ltd Liability invested in 13,150 shares. Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance holds 51,877 shares. Clean Yield has 43,227 shares. Moreover, Family Firm has 0.32% invested in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). Gardner Russo Gardner Ltd Limited Liability Company holds 2,886 shares or 0% of its portfolio. New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust invested in 0.74% or 13,000 shares. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board holds 0.11% or 160,527 shares. 32,456 were reported by Van Cleef Asset Managementinc. Weiss Multi reported 25,000 shares or 0.04% of all its holdings. Centurylink Management invested in 48,045 shares. Nuwave Management Ltd Liability owns 16,217 shares or 1.07% of their US portfolio. Barr E S & holds 0.04% of its portfolio in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) for 6,333 shares. Moreover, Hrt Finance Limited Liability Com has 0.94% invested in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

Among 24 analysts covering Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), 21 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 3 Hold. Therefore 88% are positive. Merck & Co. Inc. had 90 analyst reports since August 13, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. The firm has “Buy” rating given on Tuesday, November 17 by Argus Research. The rating was upgraded by Citigroup on Monday, October 30 to “Buy”. BMO Capital Markets maintained Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on Wednesday, February 14 with “Outperform” rating. BMO Capital Markets maintained the stock with “Buy” rating in Friday, July 28 report. The company was upgraded on Tuesday, October 31 by Jefferies. The firm has “Hold” rating by Jefferies given on Friday, April 13. The rating was maintained by BMO Capital Markets with “Sell” on Tuesday, July 4. The firm has “Buy” rating given on Wednesday, July 19 by BMO Capital Markets. The stock has “Buy” rating by Piper Jaffray on Friday, July 28. The firm earned “Outperform” rating on Tuesday, August 18 by BNP Paribas.

Analysts await Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) to report earnings on July, 27. They expect $1.04 EPS, up 2.97% or $0.03 from last year’s $1.01 per share. MRK’s profit will be $2.80 billion for 14.19 P/E if the $1.04 EPS becomes a reality. After $1.05 actual EPS reported by Merck & Co., Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -0.95% negative EPS growth.

More notable recent Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) news were published by: Streetinsider.com which released: “UPDATE: Eiger BioPharmaceuticals (EIGR) Reports Expanded License Agreement with Merck (MRK) for …” on May 16, 2018, also Streetinsider.com with their article: “Morgan Finds Positive Datapoints For MRK and BMY At ASCO” published on May 17, 2018, Fool.com published: “Better Buy: Pfizer Inc. (PFE) vs. Merck (MRK)” on May 13, 2018. More interesting news about Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) were released by: 247Wallst.com and their article: “How Keytruda Saved Merck’s Q1” published on May 01, 2018 as well as Streetinsider.com‘s news article titled: “Dr. Roger Dansey Departure at Merck (MRK) an ‘Incrementally Negative’ – BMO” with publication date: May 17, 2018.

Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc, which manages about $52.09 billion and $15.99B US Long portfolio, upped its stake in American Wtr Wks Co Inc New (NYSE:AWK) by 7,534 shares to 103,874 shares, valued at $9.50M in 2017Q4, according to the filing. It also increased its holding in Annaly Cap Mgmt Inc (NYSE:NLY) by 57,172 shares in the quarter, for a total of 398,916 shares, and has risen its stake in Texas Instrs Inc (NASDAQ:TXN).

Fulton Bank, which manages about $1.42 billion US Long portfolio, upped its stake in International Business Machs (NYSE:IBM) by 4,310 shares to 25,922 shares, valued at $3.98 million in 2017Q4, according to the filing. It also increased its holding in Priceline Grp Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) by 355 shares in the quarter, for a total of 1,494 shares, and has risen its stake in Cdn Imperial Bk Comm Toronto (NYSE:CM).

Since February 7, 2018, it had 1 insider buy, and 4 sales for $1.52 million activity. On Friday, February 9 the insider Dillard James E III sold $410,313. $300,334 worth of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) was bought by Newman Mark. Johnson Craig A. sold 14,953 shares worth $995,734. Quigley Brian W. also sold $216,154 worth of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) shares.

Investors sentiment increased to 0.93 in 2017 Q4. Its up 0.04, from 0.89 in 2017Q3. It is positive, as 63 investors sold MO shares while 521 reduced holdings. 134 funds opened positions while 410 raised stakes. 1.16 billion shares or 1.13% less from 1.17 billion shares in 2017Q3 were reported. Sns Financial Limited Liability owns 0.19% invested in Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) for 10,855 shares. The Connecticut-based Timber Hill Limited Liability Corporation has invested 0.35% in Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO). Staley Cap Advisers Incorporated stated it has 13,208 shares. Hartford owns 414,173 shares. Cullen Mgmt Ltd Liability Co owns 993,600 shares or 2.43% of their US portfolio. Whittier Tru Of Nevada invested 0.46% in Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO). Thompson Investment has 3,789 shares for 0.05% of their portfolio. First Merchants Corporation, Indiana-based fund reported 13,363 shares. 6.62 million are owned by Franklin Incorporated. Carret Asset holds 0.1% or 8,779 shares. St Germain D J Incorporated invested in 0.09% or 10,339 shares. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management reported 3,900 shares. Mathes Co has invested 0.1% in Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO). Metropolitan Life Insur Ny owns 380,369 shares for 0.36% of their portfolio. Carlson Capital Ltd Partnership invested in 0.17% or 138,284 shares.

More notable recent Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) news were published by: Benzinga.com which released: “Altria’s Problems Baked Into Price, Now A Buy At RBC” on April 30, 2018, also Streetinsider.com with their article: “Altria Group (MO) Appoints Howard Willard Chairman and CEO, Reaffirms FY18 Guidance; Expands Buyback by $1B” published on May 17, 2018, Seekingalpha.com published: “Shareholder Yield: Altria Vs. Philip Morris” on April 22, 2018. More interesting news about Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) were released by: Seekingalpha.com and their article: “The Fall Of 2 Dividend Champions” published on May 15, 2018 as well as Seekingalpha.com‘s news article titled: “Which Big Tobacco Name Do You Prefer?” with publication date: April 23, 2018.

Among 20 analysts covering Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO), 16 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 4 Hold. Therefore 80% are positive. Altria Group Inc. had 65 analyst reports since July 31, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. The rating was downgraded by Bank of America on Thursday, March 24 to “Neutral”. The company was maintained on Monday, February 5 by RBC Capital Markets. The rating was upgraded by Edward Jones to “Buy” on Wednesday, November 1. The firm has “Buy” rating by Stifel Nicolaus given on Wednesday, January 10. The stock of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO) has “Buy” rating given on Monday, July 17 by Stifel Nicolaus. The firm earned “Equal-Weight” rating on Tuesday, November 29 by Morgan Stanley. The stock has “Hold” rating by Berenberg on Friday, February 3. The stock has “Neutral” rating by UBS on Friday, October 27. Jefferies maintained the stock with “Hold” rating in Monday, July 17 report. The firm has “Buy” rating given on Friday, August 11 by Wells Fargo.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Institutional Positions Chart

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