Dow Component Merck (MRK) To Go Ex-dividend Tomorrow

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 22.0 points (-0.1%) at 16,991 as of Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014, 10:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 59.9 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 296.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 946 issues advancing vs. 1,920 declining with 187 unchanged.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014 is the ex-dividend date for Dow component Merck (NYSE: MRK). Owners of shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 44 cents per share. At a price of $60.36 as of 10:36 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.9% compared to the average Dow component yield of 2.6%.

The average volume for Merck has been 8.2 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Merck has a market cap of $176.11 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 21% year-to-date as of Tuesday's close.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.1, equal to the average drugs industry P/E ratio.
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TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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