Carlson Capital Management Raised Its Abbott Labs (ABT) Stake; First Heartland Consultants Has Cut Its Merck & Co New (MRK) Position

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Logo

First Heartland Consultants Inc decreased Merck & Co Inc New (MRK) stake by 67.9% reported in 2017Q4 SEC filing. First Heartland Consultants Inc sold 16,174 shares as Merck & Co Inc New (MRK)’s stock declined 4.63%. The First Heartland Consultants Inc holds 7,645 shares with $430,000 value, down from 23,819 last quarter. Merck & Co Inc New now has $154.14B valuation. The stock increased 0.76% or $0.43 during the last trading session, reaching $57.17. About 10.05 million shares traded. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has declined 14.94% since April 15, 2017 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 26.49% the S&P500.

Carlson Capital Management increased Abbott Labs (ABT) stake by 927.12% reported in 2017Q4 SEC filing. Carlson Capital Management acquired 55,173 shares as Abbott Labs (ABT)’s stock rose 5.88%. The Carlson Capital Management holds 61,124 shares with $3.49 million value, up from 5,951 last quarter. Abbott Labs now has $102.14 billion valuation. The stock decreased 0.58% or $0.34 during the last trading session, reaching $58.49. About 8.22 million shares traded or 14.37% up from the average. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has risen 34.85% since April 15, 2017 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 23.30% the S&P500.

Analysts await Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) to report earnings on May, 1. They expect $0.99 earnings per share, up 12.50% or $0.11 from last year’s $0.88 per share. MRK’s profit will be $2.67B for 14.44 P/E if the $0.99 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.98 actual earnings per share reported by Merck & Co., Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 1.02% EPS growth.

First Heartland Consultants Inc increased Vanguard Tax Managed Intl Fd (VEA) stake by 11,559 shares to 49,903 valued at $2.24M in 2017Q4. It also upped Ishares (IJT) stake by 11,145 shares and now owns 15,489 shares. Ishares (LQD) was raised too.

Among 24 analysts covering Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), 19 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 5 Hold. Therefore 79% are positive. Merck & Co. Inc. has $7400 highest and $50 lowest target. $65.22’s average target is 14.08% above currents $57.17 stock price. Merck & Co. Inc. had 83 analyst reports since August 13, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. BMO Capital Markets maintained Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on Thursday, October 12 with “Outperform” rating. Credit Suisse maintained the shares of MRK in report on Friday, September 8 with “Outperform” rating. On Monday, July 18 the stock rating was downgraded by BMO Capital Markets to “Market Perform”. Jefferies maintained the shares of MRK in report on Thursday, November 16 with “Hold” rating. Morgan Stanley maintained the stock with “Equal-Weight” rating in Wednesday, February 7 report. Credit Suisse maintained Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on Wednesday, August 30 with “Outperform” rating. The rating was downgraded by SunTrust to “Hold” on Monday, October 30. Piper Jaffray maintained it with “Buy” rating and $7000 target in Friday, July 28 report. The rating was maintained by SunTrust on Friday, July 28 with “Buy”. The stock of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) earned “Buy” rating by Argus Research on Tuesday, November 17.

Investors sentiment decreased to 0.94 in 2017 Q4. Its down 0.12, from 1.06 in 2017Q3. It dropped, 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. Burney invested 0.11% in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). 73,109 were reported by Bridges Investment Mgmt. Pettee Invsts reported 38,059 shares. Jarislowsky Fraser Limited invested in 120,293 shares or 0.04% of the stock. 3,810 are held by Guinness Atkinson Asset Mgmt. 1.04 million were reported by Bessemer Group. Gm Advisory Grp Inc Inc holds 0.08% or 5,155 shares. Stone Run Cap Limited Liability Company holds 0.17% in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) or 5,939 shares. Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo And Limited Liability Corporation owns 495,168 shares or 0.16% of their US portfolio. Alpine Mngmt Limited Liability Company reported 0.21% of its portfolio in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). Comml Bank reported 97,311 shares. Ing Groep Nv accumulated 0.57% or 607,922 shares. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft Fi invested 0.33% in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). Marco Invest Mgmt Limited Liability Com holds 90,276 shares. Lincoln National has invested 0.05% in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK).

Since October 23, 2017, it had 1 insider buy, and 19 selling transactions for $28.95 million activity. MANNING JOSEPH J sold $84,344 worth of stock or 1,430 shares. Fussell Stephen R sold 11,106 shares worth $667,804. Salvadori Daniel Gesua Sive had sold 905 shares worth $53,369 on Wednesday, February 28. Watkin Jared sold $58,635 worth of stock or 996 shares. $96,728 worth of stock was sold by BIRD ROGER on Wednesday, February 28. Ford Robert B sold $2.69M worth of stock or 42,665 shares. Another trade for 459 shares valued at $27,213 was made by PEDERSON MICHAEL J on Friday, February 16.

Among 25 analysts covering Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), 18 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 7 Hold. Therefore 72% are positive. Abbott Laboratories has $90 highest and $4 lowest target. $63.81’s average target is 9.10% above currents $58.49 stock price. Abbott Laboratories had 105 analyst reports since July 24, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. Morgan Stanley maintained Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) rating on Tuesday, July 11. Morgan Stanley has “Equal-Weight” rating and $4 target. The company was maintained on Friday, October 6 by JP Morgan. The firm has “Neutral” rating by Citigroup given on Tuesday, January 30. The stock of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has “Buy” rating given on Wednesday, October 18 by Cowen & Co. Stifel Nicolaus maintained Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) on Wednesday, April 19 with “Buy” rating. The stock of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has “Buy” rating given on Wednesday, June 21 by BTIG Research. The rating was maintained by Barclays Capital with “Overweight” on Thursday, September 28. The rating was downgraded by Piper Jaffray to “Neutral” on Thursday, April 28. The rating was upgraded by Barclays Capital to “Overweight” on Wednesday, October 7. The stock has “Buy” rating by RBC Capital Markets on Thursday, October 19.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Institutional Positions Chart