4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Merck

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Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, drug behemoth Merck (NYS: MRK) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Merck's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Merck facts

Headquarters (founded)Whitehouse Station, N.J. (1891)
Market Cap$115.0 billion
IndustryPharmaceuticals
Trailing-12-Month Revenue$48.2 billion
ManagementCEO Kenneth Frazier (since 2011)
CFO Peter Kellogg (since 2007)
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)14.7%
Cash/Debt$15.6 billion / $18.2 billion
Dividend Yield4.4%
Competitors

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 93% of the 2,914 members who have rated Merck believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.  

Just last week, one of those Fools, Gregory63, highlighted Merck as a solid income opportunity:

Really not that worried about the patent cliff yet with [Merck]. It pays a healthy dividend, cash flow and profitability is good in meantime, so that limits the down side. The next year will either be very good (upside suprise with new patent drugs in pipeline) or not so good, but the dividend takes out some of the risk.

If you want market-thumping returns, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future. Of course, despite a strong four-star rating, Merck may not be your top choice.

We've found another stock we are incredibly excited about -- excited enough to dub it "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." We have compiled a special free report for investors to uncover this stock today. The report is 100% free, but it won't be here forever, so click here to access it now.

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the newTrackPoisedToCAPS account.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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