Merck Announces Additional $5 Billion Share Buyback (MRK)


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Drugmaker Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ) on Wednesday announced its board of directors has authorized an additional $5 billion share repurchase plan.

The share buybacks can be made on the open market, in block transactions, or in privately-negotiated transactions. There is also no time limit on the repurchase plan.

In total, Merck now plans to buy back some $6.4 billion of its own shares, considering the $1.4 billion remaining on its prior repurchase plan, which was implemented in late 2009.

CEO Kenneth C. Frazier said in a statement that "Merck has a history of leadership in returning cash to shareholders. Together with our strong dividend, today's action reflects our confidence in Merck's strategy and demonstrates our commitment to delivering shareholder value."

Merck shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Merck ( MRK ) have a 4.34% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $35.06. The stock has technical support in the $32-$33 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $37-$38 price levels.

Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

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