Merck (NYSE:MRK), a Dow component best known by long-term investors for its mega dividend, delivered lackluster results during its fourth-quarter earnings report on Friday. The company's vital signs look fairly healthy, and it actually beat EPS estimates by $0.02 per share -- but the stock's recent slide was sparked by concerns over its late-stage pipeline candidates.

Pharmaceutical companies typically buy their way out of trouble by acquiring smaller drugmakers or biotechs with compelling drugs in development. Is this something that Merck might consider in 2013? Healthcare analyst Max Macaluso weighs in on this question in the following video.

Max Macaluso, Ph.D. has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.