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

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

Merck facts

Headquarters (founded)

Whitehouse Station, N.J. (1891)

Market Cap

$132.4 billion

Industry

Pharmaceuticals

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$47.8 billion

Management

Chairman/CEO Kenneth Frazier
CFO Peter Kellogg

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)

12.9%

Cash/Debt

$18.1 billion / $19.6 billion

Dividend Yield

4%

Competitors

GlaxoSmithKline
Novartis
Pfizer


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

On CAPS, 93% of the 2,883 members who have rated Merck believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Earlier today, one of those Fools, TMFCane, succinctly summed up the Merck bull case for our community:

Januvia and Janumet are poised to explode with the diabetes market. Suvorexant and odanacatib both look good, and keeping all its divisions together (rather than spinning them off a la Abbott and Pfizer) should allow Merck to capitalize on growth segments. This company's done well in compensating for Singulair's loss.

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. 

For nearly 100 years, Merck's cutting-edge research has led to a number of medical breakthroughs. Today, however, this pharma stalwart is staring down a steep patent cliff and facing generic competition for its top-selling drug. Will Merck crumble under its own weight, or will it continue to pay dividends to investors for another century? To find out if this pharma giant has the stamina to keep its Bunsen burners alight, grab your copy of our brand new premium research report today. Our senior biotech analyst Brian Orelli, Ph.D., walks you through both the opportunities and threats facing Merck, and the report comes with a full 12 months of updates. Claim your copy now by clicking here.

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

The article Why Merck Is Poised to Outperform originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend GlaxoSmithKline. 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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