The FINANCIAL -- Merck on November 28 announced that the Board of Directors has increased the company’s quarterly dividend to $0.48 per outstanding share of the company’s common stock, up $0.01 from $0.47 per outstanding share paid last quarter.
Payment will be made on Jan. 8, 2018, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 15, 2017. The Board also authorized an additional $10 billion of treasury stock purchases with no time limit for completion, according to Merck.
“Our strong balance sheet, consistent performance and the strength of our underlying business allow us to increase the dividend and authorize additional opportunistic share repurchases,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. “Today’s actions reflect confidence in our ability to continue to invent and deliver differentiated medicines and vaccines, and our commitment to return value to shareholders.”
Merck last announced a dividend increase in November 2016, when the Board raised the dividend from $0.46 to $0.47 per common share.