Excalibur Management Decreased Its Merck & Co (MRK) Holding by $418,880; Stock Price Declined; Markel Has Boosted Its Microsoft (MSFT) Holding by $2.37 Million; Stock Rose

January 16, 2018 - By Marie Mckinney

Tom Gayner increased its stake in Microsoft Corp (MSFT) by 11.43% based on its latest 2017Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Markel Corp bought 32,000 shares as the company’s stock rose 4.75% with the market. The hedge fund run by Tom Gayner held 312,000 shares of the prepackaged software company at the end of 2017Q3, valued at $23.24 million, up from 280,000 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Markel Corp who had been investing in Microsoft Corp for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $694.08 billion market cap company. The stock increased 0.41% or $0.37 during the last trading session, reaching $89.97. About 11.82 million shares traded. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has risen 34.52% since January 16, 2017 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 17.82% the S&P500.

Excalibur Management Corp decreased its stake in Merck & Co (MRK) by 7.48% based on its latest 2017Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Excalibur Management Corp sold 6,545 shares as the company’s stock declined 2.46% while stock markets rallied. The institutional investor held 80,899 shares of the health care company at the end of 2017Q3, valued at $5.18 million, down from 87,444 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Excalibur Management Corp who had been investing in Merck & Co for a number of months, seems to be less bullish one the $170.01B market cap company. The stock increased 6.38% or $3.74 during the last trading session, reaching $62.4. About 26.97 million shares traded or 119.76% up from the average. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) has risen 16.86% since January 16, 2017 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 0.16% the S&P500.

Analysts await Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) to report earnings on February, 1. They expect $0.94 earnings per share, up 5.62% or $0.05 from last year’s $0.89 per share. MRK’s profit will be $2.56B for 16.60 P/E if the $0.94 EPS becomes a reality. After $1.11 actual earnings per share reported by Merck & Co., Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -15.32% negative EPS growth.

Investors sentiment decreased to 1.06 in 2017 Q3. Its down 0.01, from 1.07 in 2017Q2. It fall, as 46 investors sold MRK shares while 619 reduced holdings. 106 funds opened positions while 598 raised stakes. 1.96 billion shares or 0.47% more from 1.95 billion shares in 2017Q2 were reported. Kornitzer Management Ks owns 821,436 shares for 0.92% of their portfolio. Godshalk Welsh Capital Mgmt Inc holds 1.91% or 29,653 shares. Condor Cap Mngmt invested in 0.06% or 4,823 shares. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft Fi accumulated 289,097 shares. State Of Wisconsin Board, Wisconsin-based fund reported 3.39M shares. Trust Department Mb Finance National Bank N A owns 6,240 shares. Financial Advisory Ser Inc holds 0.24% of its portfolio in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) for 13,306 shares. Telemus Cap Ltd Llc accumulated 30,444 shares or 0.31% of the stock. First Washington Corp holds 0.02% or 552 shares. Putnam Invs Limited Liability Co invested in 4.74M shares or 0.7% of the stock. Sadoff Invest Management accumulated 4,754 shares. Moreover, Meritage Portfolio Mgmt has 0.47% invested in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) for 75,368 shares. South State Corp accumulated 0.36% or 49,645 shares. Ameritas Invest Prtn Inc holds 0.44% of its portfolio in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) for 146,253 shares. Burns J W Inc Ny invested in 7,325 shares.

Among 23 analysts covering Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), 15 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 8 Hold. Therefore 65% are positive. Merck & Co. Inc. had 71 analyst reports since August 13, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. Jefferies upgraded the stock to “Hold” rating in Tuesday, October 31 report. The company was maintained on Thursday, July 14 by Jefferies. The rating was initiated by Bryan Garnier & Cie with “Buy” on Friday, January 13. The firm has “Buy” rating given on Monday, June 12 by BMO Capital Markets. The firm has “Neutral” rating by Credit Suisse given on Monday, May 9. Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “Overweight” rating in Thursday, January 12 report. The firm has “Sell” rating by Jefferies given on Friday, October 20. The firm has “Market Perform” rating given on Monday, October 30 by Leerink Swann. Berenberg initiated Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) on Tuesday, November 24 with “Buy” rating. As per Wednesday, August 30, the company rating was maintained by Credit Suisse.

Investors sentiment increased to 0.83 in Q3 2017. Its up 0.01, from 0.82 in 2017Q2. It is positive, as 40 investors sold MSFT shares while 952 reduced holdings. 114 funds opened positions while 708 raised stakes. 5.51 billion shares or 0.32% less from 5.53 billion shares in 2017Q2 were reported. Eagleclaw Cap Managment Limited Liability owns 28,524 shares for 1.2% of their portfolio. 594,390 are owned by Twin Capital Mngmt Inc. Bluestein R H & Company has invested 1.82% in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Engineers Gate Manager Ltd Partnership stated it has 0.05% of its portfolio in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Acr Alpine Rech Ltd Company reported 7.31% stake. Citizens Northern owns 17,296 shares. Rwc Asset Mngmt Llp accumulated 744,446 shares. Willingdon Wealth Management has 1.54% invested in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). 11,581 are owned by Cap Counsel Ltd Liability Company Ny. Piedmont Invest Advsr Ltd Company, North Carolina-based fund reported 1.89M shares. Sand Hill Global Advisors Limited Com owns 81,936 shares. Greystone Managed reported 243,107 shares stake. Birch Hill Invest Ltd stated it has 586,173 shares or 3.8% of all its holdings. Private Capital Advsrs Inc owns 15,878 shares for 0.4% of their portfolio. Natl Bank Of Stockton reported 0.54% in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Markel Corp, which manages about $5.02 billion US Long portfolio, decreased its stake in Exxon Corporation (NYSE:XOM) by 400,000 shares to 544,800 shares, valued at $44.66M in 2017Q3, according to the filing.

Among 35 analysts covering Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), 29 have Buy rating, 2 Sell and 4 Hold. Therefore 83% are positive. Microsoft Corporation had 143 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. Citigroup upgraded the shares of MSFT in report on Friday, January 27 to “Neutral” rating. The stock of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) earned “Outperform” rating by Oppenheimer on Tuesday, October 31. The firm earned “Strong-Buy” rating on Thursday, August 27 by Vetr. The stock has “Outperform” rating by BMO Capital Markets on Friday, January 27. As per Friday, October 23, the company rating was maintained by RBC Capital Markets. Morgan Stanley upgraded Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) on Wednesday, January 13 to “Overweight” rating. The firm has “Buy” rating by Piper Jaffray given on Sunday, August 27. As per Monday, September 25, the company rating was maintained by Jefferies. The stock of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has “Outperform” rating given on Wednesday, July 20 by FBN Securities. The rating was maintained by Stifel Nicolaus with “Buy” on Monday, August 21.

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