Are Shareholders Of Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) Happy?
A global healthcare leader, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) recently announced an increased dividend payout of $0.44 per common share of the company which is scheduled to be paid on January 8, 2014. This dividend will be paid to all investors on record as on December 16, 2013.
The hike in dividend payout compares to dividend of $0.43 per share which the pharmaceutical company was paying since last four quarters. Factoring Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s previous closing of $49.58, the new dividend rate could yield an annualized pay of 3.54%.
Rationale behind Dividend Hike
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Kenneth C. Frazier mentioned that the hike in dividend payout essentially reflects company’s focus on creating shareholders value and management’s confidence in company’s future where they believe increase in productivity as it plans to invest more in its promising research and development opportunities.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) largely operates in Pharmaceutical segment, Animal Health segment, Consumer Care segment and Alliances segment.
Pharma Companies and Dividend Yield
Another global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) which is based in London, the United Kingdom, pays dividend at an annualized yield of 5.06%. The company pays semi-annual dividends and during this year it has paid dividend of $1.90 per common share in February and $0.90 per common share in August. AstraZeneca’s core products are largely targeted at cardiovascular, respiratory and inflammation, infection, gastrointestinal, oncology and neuroscience.
New York based Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is paying quarterly dividend of $0.24 per common share since last three quarters which translates to an annual dividend of $0.96 and an annualized dividend yield of 3.01% considering the company’s previous close of $31.89. This compares to Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s annualized yield of 3.54%. The company largely operates in five business segments including primary care, specialty care and oncology, nutrition, established products and emerging markets as well as animal health and consumer healthcare.