Merck Announces Increased Fourth-Quarter Dividend and $10 Billion Share Repurchase Authorization


October 25, 2018 5:46 am ET

Increases Quarterly Dividend 15% to $0.55 per Outstanding Share

Enters Into a $5 Billion Accelerated Share Repurchase Program Under Expanded Authorization

KENILWORTH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada,
today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 15 percent
increase to the company’s quarterly dividend, raising it to $0.55 per
share from $0.48 per share of the company’s outstanding common stock.
Payment will be made on Jan. 8, 2019, to shareholders of record at the
close of business on Dec. 17, 2018. The Board also authorized an
additional $10 billion of treasury stock purchases with no time limit
for completion. The company has entered into a $5 billion accelerated
share repurchase program under its expanded authorization.

“Increasing the dividend and authorizing additional opportunistic share
repurchases are driven by our commitment to a balanced capital
allocation strategy and supported by our strong balance sheet and cash
flow generation that provide us the flexibility to return cash to
shareholders while also investing in our pipeline, innovation and
growth,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer,
Merck, “Even with these actions, we will continue to maintain ample
capacity for business development, which remains a priority.”

Merck last announced a dividend increase in November 2017, when the
Board increased the dividend from $0.47 to $0.48 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,
and connect with us on TwitterFacebookInstagram,
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.

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 2017 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 (

Claire Gillespie, 267-305-0932
Teri Loxam, 908-740-1986
Michael DeCarbo, 908-740-1807

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