The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which Austin Smith discusses topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Austin takes a look at where the money comes from with monster pharma company Merck. This $120 billion titan is one of the largest companies in this space, but it's also mired in one of the most difficult parts of being a pharmaceutical company: patent cliffs. With 85% of Merck's revenue coming from its pharmaceutical division, which includes prescription meds, it's easy to see how the company can lose out in a big way when blockbuster drugs come off patent. That's exactly what's happening with Singulair in 2012, and it's repeated across this industry.

Despite these risks, Merck still pays a heady 4.3% dividend. A high yield is nice, but it wasn't enough for the company to earn a spot in our report: "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks." You can read more about these great high-yielding stocks today: Click here now.

Austin Smith owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. 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.