Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company's 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site ( www.sec.gov).
Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today 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. "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. About Merck For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer's disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the "company") includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.