Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Merck Declares Fresh Dividend; Yield Is 3.1%

By Eric Volkman – Jul 28, 2020 at 7:28PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The new payout will be dispensed in October.

Merck (MRK -0.17%) has elected to keep its dividend steady.

On Tuesday, the sprawling pharmaceutical company said its board of directors has declared that the Q4 common stock distribution will be $0.61 per share. This is to be paid on Oct. 7 to stockholders of record as of Sept. 15. At the most recent closing share price, the dividend yield is just under 3.1%.

Man putting a card reading DIVIDENDS into his suit breast pocket.

Image source: Getty Images.

The amount matches each of the company's preceding three dividends; before that, Merck had dispensed $0.55 per share. The company is a reliable payer and frequent raiser of its payout, typically upping the amount once annually, generally at the end of the year. Since March 2010, the dividend has risen steadily from $0.38 per share to the current level.

The pharmaceutical sector isn't always well-stocked hunting ground for dividends, so Merck is somewhat exceptional in this regard. Returning money in this way to shareholders seems to be a priority; the dividend is being maintained even in the wake of big changes. One of the more prominent of these was its May announcement that it was acquiring buy vaccine maker Themis Bioscience.

Themis is part of Merck's efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine. If the company can win or place in the Great Coronavirus Vaccine Race and net even a small profit on an approved solution, it stands a chance of opening a powerful new revenue stream.

Merck's shares closed higher on Tuesday, rising by almost 1%, while the overall stock market fell slightly on the day.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Quote
Merck & Co., Inc.
MRK
$87.29 (-0.17%) $0.15

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
338%
 
S&P 500 Returns
108%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/07/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.