tonight's SEC-filing) is a decidedly significant counter-point to the Morgan Stanley and Leerink Swann opinions offered earlier this week.
Afterall, BlackRock, Inc. has -- in 2012 alone -- acquired almost 16 million Merck shares. That is a likely incremental investment of over $650 million of its own capital. That's more than ink on paper. That's real cash.
And so, it would seem that BlackRock's "best & brightest" -- some of the most sophisticated equity investors on the planet -- feel that Merck is a worthy "accumulate".
Of course, this SEC information at right is current only as of year end 2012 -- but Merck was trading between $40 and $42 near year end 2012, so it would be fair to assume that with the stock at around $41.50 tonight, BlackRock would still be a holder -- if not an opportunitistic accumulator, from time to time.
A few more such SEC-filed Schedules 13G and 13D will appear in the balance of February 2013. I'll cover them here, for you -- but you'll also see them listed in a summary table in Merck's annual proxy statement (see the version from last year, at page 27).
However, the Merck proxy never shows year-over-year trendlines for the major holders (SEC rules don't require any such disclosure). So, I'll do that for you.
. . . .BlackRock, Inc. | Aggregate amount beneficially owned by each reporting person: 191,262,292 shares. . . Percent of class represented by amount. . . 6.29%. . . .
We will report the others as they roll in, here, in February.