NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report are down by 0.98% to $32.38 in afternoon trading on Friday, despite the company declaring a new dividend today.

Pfizer's board of directors declared a 28 cents fourth quarter dividend payable on December 1 to shareholders of record as of November 6.

Additionally, Merck (MRK) - Get Report and Pfizer announced that the Food and Drug Administration granted orphan drug designation for the investigational skin cancer immunotherapy avelumab.

"This is a rare and lethal type of skin cancer, especially when it has progressed despite prior chemotherapy," Dr. Mace Rothenberg, Senior VP of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Pfizer Oncology said in a statement.

"There is a strong scientific and clinical rationale that by harnessing the body's immune system, we may be able to control the disease and provide hope to patients fighting Merkel cell carcinoma," Dr. Rothenberg continued.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PFIZER INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate PFIZER INC (PFE) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.53, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, PFE has a quick ratio of 1.62, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has remained constant at $4,090.00 million with no significant change when compared to the same quarter last year. Along with maintaining stable cash flow from operations, the firm exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -10.34%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for PFIZER INC is currently very high, coming in at 84.72%. Regardless of PFE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PFE's net profit margin of 22.16% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PFE