E Daily Stock Pick: Merck & Co

This week, I'm looking for the third healthcare sector representative of six for my Ivy portfolio.

That healthcare sector includes ten industries all related to testing, diagnosing and treating what ails us. Healthcare industries are: biotechnology; diagnostics & research; drug manufacturers - major and - specialty & generic; healthcare plans; long-term care facilities; medical care; medical devices; medical distribution; medical supplies.

Today I'm reviewing another large-cap drug manufacturer - major named Merck & Co Inc (MRK).

Merck makes pharmaceutical products to treat several conditions in a number of therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer, and infections. Within cancer, the firm's immuno-oncology platform is growing as a major contributor to overall sales. The company also has a substantial vaccine business, with treatments to prevent hepatitis B and pediatric diseases as well as HPV and shingles. Additionally, Merck sells animal health-related drugs. From a geographical perspective, close to half of the company's sales are generated in the United States.

It has collaborations with Pfizer Inc.; AstraZeneca PLC; Bayer AG; Eisai Co., Ltd.; IO Biotech; Premier Inc.; Cue Biopharma, Inc.; Foundation Medicine, Inc.; Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited; Cold Genesys, Inc.; Kyn Therapeutics; Adlai Nortye Ltd.; Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.; and Instituto Butantan.

It serves drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies and entities, physicians, distributors, veterinarians, animal producers, and managed health care providers.

The company was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

I use three key data points to gauge the value of any dividend equity-like Merck & Co Inc:

(1) Price

(2) Dividends

(3) Returns

Besides those three, several other keys will finally unlock an equity or fund in which to invest.

Those first three primary keys, however, best tell whether a company has made, is making, and will make money.

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Disclosure: This article was compiled by Rydlun & Co., LLC from data derived from ycharts.com; finance.yahoo.com; analyst target prices by Thomson/First Call in Yahoo Finance.

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