Merck (MRK), like its competitors in the mega-cap pharma space, has always valued capital returns. In this sector, dividends and buybacks are everything to shareholders, but at the same time, it is very difficult to grow without acquisitions. These competing uses of cash mean that often, mega-pharmas are highly leveraged. In this article, I’ll take a look at Merck’s use of debt over the past few years and its implications on the stock.
I’ll be using data from Seeking Alpha for this article.