Merck & Co (MRK) will raise its quarterly dividend by 6.6 percent to $0.65 per share. Last year the company announced a 10.9 percent dividend hike to $0.61 per share. The biopharmaceutical company has now raised its dividend 10 consecutive years.
The next dividend will be paid on January 8, 2021 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 15, 2020. A new annualized dividend rate of $2.60 per share yields 3.2% at a stock price of $80.45.
Merck & Co pays an estimated $6.6 billion in dividends to shareholders annually. The company did not announce a dividend hike for years through 2010. In 2011 the dividend was hiked by 10.5 percent, starting the current 10 year dividend hike record.
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global healthcare company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada. The company's core product categories include diabetes, cancer, vaccines and hospital acute care. Its products include prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products. The company’s operations are principally managed on a products basis and include four operating segments, which are the Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances segments. Merck has raised its dividend every calendar year since 2011.