Why Merck Is Poised to Keep Poppin'

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, drug behemoth Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Merck and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Merck facts

Headquarters (founded)

Whitehouse Station, N.J. (1891)

Market Cap

$141.0 billion

Industry

Pharmaceuticals

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$46.2 billion

Management

Chairman/CEO Kenneth Frazier
CFO Peter Kellogg

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)

8.7%

Cash/Debt

$16.0 billion / $20.8 billion

Dividend Yield

3.7%

Competitors

GlaxoSmithKline
Novartis
Pfizer

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 93% of the 2,924 members who have rated Merck believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.   

Just last week, one of those Fools, PrInAl, succinctly summed up the Merck bull case for our community:

The pharmacy business is not going anyplace. The company has opportunely announced an enormous buyback plan, recently including $5B worth of stock from Goldman Sachs. ... Downside is protected somewhat by a dividend yield closer to 4% than 3%. Merck has to deal with patent expirations on products, but so do all its competitors. Its pipeline is robust, however.

This titan of the pharmaceutical industry stumbled into 2013 and continues to battle patent expirations and pipeline problems. Is Merck still a solid dividend play, or should investors be looking elsewhere? In a new premium research report on Merck, The Fool tackles all of the company's moving parts, its major market opportunities, and reasons to both buy and sell. To find out more click here to claim your copy today.



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