How to Buy Merck & Co Stock

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: stock symbol MRK), is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Merck is located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. The company was established in 1891 as the United States subsidiary of the German company now known as Merck KGaA.

Merck & Co. was confiscated by the US government during World War I and subsequently established as an independent American company. They’re currently ranked one of the World’s seven largest pharmaceutical companies by market capitalization and revenue.

The company describes itself as “a global research-driven pharmaceutical company” that “discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of innovative products to improve human and animal health, directly and through its joint ventures”.

Merck also publishes The Merck Manuals, a series of medical reference books for physicians, nurses, and technicians. These include the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, the world’s best-selling medical textbook, and the Merck Index, a compendium of chemical compounds.

What is Merck & Co Stock worth Today?

Merck is currently trading at around $38.00 which gives the company a market cap of around $115 billion. This is well down on pre 2007 levels when the stock was trading at just over $60.00.

Merck & Co Stock History Chart

Merck & Co Stock Price History

In Jan 2008 Merck were trading at around 60.00, two years later in the middle of the last recession and they’d dropped to a low of 23.00. What’s more concerning is that despite recovering slightly to 38.00, they’re still way behind pre-recession levels.

If you compare that performance to others within the pharmaceuticals sector and it falls a little short. Most other pharmaceuticals companies have recovered lost ground and in some cases have moved ahead of their pre-recession levels.

Merck & Co Stock Split History

Merck have had five splits since becoming a public company. The first split was 2:1 and took place on Jun 01, 1972 with the stock trading at 146.25 on the previous day and closed at 73.25 the day after, resulting in a profit of 0.72%.

The second split was 2:1 and took place on May 27, 1986 with the stock trading at 188.25 on the previous day and closed at 97.62 the day after, resulting in a profit of 3.71%.

The third split was 3:1 and took place on May 26, 1988 with the stock trading at 150.00 on the previous day and closed at 51.00 the day after, resulting in a profit of 2.00%.

The fourth split was 3:1 and took place on May 26, 1992 with the stock trading at 152.63 on the previous day and closed at 49.63 the day after, resulting in a loss of -2.45%.

The fifth and final split was 2:1 and took place on Feb 17, 1999 with the stock trading at 153.94 on the previous day and closed at 76.19 the day after, resulting in a loss of -1.01%.

When Will Merck & Co Stock Split Again?

With Merck trading in the low 40s a stock split is a long way off. The last split took place with the stock trading at 153.00, allowing for inflation that would mean the price would have to reach in excess of 200.00 before a split would be considered again.

Does Merck & Co Stock Pay a Dividend?

Merck pays a quarterly dividend, for the last twelve months this has amounted to an annual yield of 4.42%. This is an impressive dividend for the sector which makes up slightly for the slightly sluggish performance of late.

Should You Invest in Merck & Co Stock?

The below par performance of Merck since emerging from the recession suggests that the company was over valued before, at the current price of around 40.00 the stock would seem to be about on the money.

Pharmaceutical companies live and breathe by the development of new drugs and Merck have been remarkably quite on that front recently. There are no new drugs currently in the pipeline so there’s little for investors to get excited about.

The real benefit of  owning Merck at the moment is the dividend, with a yield of over 4% they’re a good bet if you’re looking for income rather than growth. But if growth is what you’re looking for, there are much more profitable opportunities out there right now.

If you want to invest in Merck & Co make sure you get the best deal possible and check out our top 4 online discount brokers. We’ve rated them for platform functionality, price and customer service. So you’ve no excuse for putting up with mediocre service from your broker anymore.

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