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Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) News: Expectations Of What’s Next, Gettin’ Bond-y & More

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)Petrobras, Merck Lead $54 Billion of Company Bond Sales in U.S. (Bloomberg)
Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (NYSE:PBR), the Brazilian state-run oil producer, and drugmaker Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) led at least $54 billion of bond sales in the U.S. this week, the most in more than four months, as relative yields widened. Petrobras raised $11 billion in the largest dollar-denominated deal by an emerging-market issuer, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) sold $6.5 billion of debt in a six-part offering. Sales rose from last week’s $45.6 billion and compare with an average of $29.5 billion during the past 12 months.

Fitch Rates Merck & Co.’s Proposed Debt ‘A+’ (MarketWatch)
Fitch Ratings has assigned an ‘A+’ rating to Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) public issuance of $6.5 billion of senior unsecured notes comprising six tranches. Proceeds from the senior unsecured debt are expected to be used for general corporate purposes, including share repurchases. A complete list of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s ratings is provided at the end of this release. On May 1, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) expanded its share repurchase program by $15 billion to $16.3 billion. The company intends to use debt issuances, in part, to repurchase $7.5 billion worth of shares over the next 12 months with the timing of the remaining buybacks to be open-ended.

Merck & Co. faces employment discharge complaint by former worker (PennRecord)
A former employee of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is suing the drugmaker in federal court over allegations that the defendant committed civil rights violations when it discharged the man after refusing to reassign the plaintiff to a position he had been promised. Manuel Matos, who resides in Lansdale, Montgomery County, worked as a plumber and pipefitter for the pharmaceutical manufacturer from May 1999 until September 2007, making about $90,000-plus per year in the hourly union position, the complaint states. That fall, a former supervisor recommended that Matos be promoted, after which the plaintiff accepted a management position as a production supervisor.

AmEx, Merck Lead $16.5 Billion of Company Bond Issuance in U.S. (Bloomberg)
American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), the biggest credit-card issuer by purchases, and drugmaker Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) led borrowers selling or planning to issue at least $16.5 billion of bonds in the U.S. today. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), which yesterday had its unsecured debt rating cut one level by Moody’s Investors Service, sold $6.5 billion of bonds in six parts to fund share repurchases, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The biggest slice of the issue from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) was for $1.75 billion of 2.8 percent, 10-year notes that yield 87 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, Bloomberg data show. That compares with a 75 basis-point spread on $1 billion of 2.4 percent bonds due 2022 that the drugmaker sold in September.

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