MRK  Merck & Company Inc.

Exchange

NYSE

Sector

Consumer Durables

Industry

Major Pharmaceuticals

Market Cap.

180.29B

Weak Balance Sheet

MRK's financial position is not ideal. The key is to check whether MRK is using debt to fuel its growth and the sustainability of that tendency. Highly capital intensive businesses (see Economic Moat) follow this route, which can deeply impact the future prospects of the business.
Figures in USD. Fiscal year ends in December
2006200720082009201020112012201320142015
Cash 8.71B 8.23B 5.49B 9.60B 12.20B 14.97B 16.14B 17.49B 15.72B 13.43B
Current Assets 15.23B 15.05B 19.30B 28.43B 29.06B 33.18B 34.86B 35.69B 33.17B 29.76B
Total Assets 44.57B 48.35B 47.20B 112.09B 105.78B 105.13B 106.13B 105.65B 98.34B 101.78B
Current Liabilities 12.72B 12.26B 14.32B 15.75B 15.64B 16.25B 18.35B 17.87B 18.77B 19.20B
Total Liabilities 27.01B 30.17B 28.44B 53.03B 51.41B 50.61B 53.11B 55.88B 49.69B 57.10B
Stockholder' Equity 17.56B 18.18B 18.76B 59.06B 54.38B 54.52B 53.02B 49.77B 48.65B 44.68B
Current Ratio 1.20 1.23 1.35 1.80 1.86 2.04 1.90 2.00 1.77 1.55
TL-to-TA 0.61 0.62 0.60 0.47 0.49 0.48 0.50 0.53 0.51 0.56

Low or No Reinvestment of Profits over the past 10 years

MRK has either been retaining a small amount of their earnings or has done so inconsistently. A lack of consistency could be due to MRK operating at a loss or them having such a strong economic moat they feel comfortable spending profits on growth. Be wary of future prospects and if applicable, inspect the moat's sustainability.
Figures in USD. Fiscal year ends in December
2006200720082009201020112012201320142015
Retained Earnings 39.10B 39.14B 43.70B 41.40B 37.54B 38.99B 39.99B 39.26B 46.02B 45.35B
Retained Earnings Growth - 0.12% 11.65% -5.25% -9.34% 3.87% 2.55% -1.82% 17.23% -1.46%