Along with all the other measures undertaken by the executive team this year — in order to support the stock price, while the company rides out its version of the big pharma patent cliff — a dividend bump should come as no surprise.
Four cents more a year. See here:
. . . .[Merck’s Board of Directors] today announced that the company’s quarterly dividend [increased] to $0.44 per outstanding share of the company’s common stock, up $0.01 from $0.43 per outstanding share paid last quarter. Payment will be made on January 8, 2014, to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 16, 2013.
“This increase in our dividend reflects our focus on creating value for shareholders and our confidence in Merck’s future as we increase productivity and invest in our most promising R&D opportunities,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck.
Merck last announced a dividend increase in November 2012, when the Board raised the dividend from $0.42 to $0.43 per common share. . . .
Carry on — and if you like — get it, while it’s hot. Merck also today announced it received an FDA approval for a new dosing/formulation of Noxafil (posaconazole), now available as 100 mg delayed-release tablets. Good news, but plainly immaterial, overall.