Merck (MRK) raised its dividend to 42 cents per share from 38 cents today, giving the pharmaceutical’s company’s shares a nearly 5% dividend yield. AT today’s stock price around $34.50, the shares yield about 4.9%, better than competitors like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), whose yield is about 3.6%, and Pfizer (PFE) at 4.1%.
“Looking to 2012, we are confident that we are taking the right steps to ensure that Merck is generating profitable sales growth to drive improved returns and even greater cash flow than we do today,” said CEO Kenneth Frazier in a statement. “Reflecting confidence in our business and our commitment to returning cash to shareholders, today the Merck Board of Directors raised the company’s quarterly dividend by 11 percent.”
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