At Insider Monkey we follow almost 800 of the best-performing investors and even though many of them lost money in the last several months, the history teaches us that over the long-run they still manage to beat the market, which is why it can be profitable for us to imitate their activity. Of course, even the best money managers can sometimes get it wrong, but following some of their picks gives us a better chance to outperform the crowd than picking a random stock and this is where our research comes in.
Is Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) a healthy stock for your portfolio? The best stock pickers are buying. The number of bullish hedge fund positions moved up by eight recently. MRK was in 70 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of December. There were 62 hedge funds in our database with MRK positions at the end of the previous quarter. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity, but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP), and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) to gather more data points.
In the eyes of most investors, hedge funds are perceived as slow, outdated financial vehicles of the past. While there are greater than 8000 funds trading at the moment, Our researchers look at the upper echelon of this club, about 700 funds. It is estimated that this group of investors manage most of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by tracking their first-class stock picks, Insider Monkey has formulated various investment strategies that have historically exceeded the market. Insider Monkey’s small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 12 percentage points per annum for a decade in their back tests.
Before we get to discussing the smart money moves surrounding Merck, let’s take a look at the latest developments surrounding the company.