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Merck & Co. Inc. Message Board

  • natelew2002 natelew2002 Nov 22, 2004 3:45 PM Flag

    merck on sale!

    this is unbelievable to buy at this price.. yield in nearly 6%, pe is very very low. the raw emotion sale is over, and the value funds will likely be accumulating now.

    in my opinion, this could be 31 to 32 now.

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    • I also wanted to add that I think your wife was correct on her observation. If you get into one of those "country club" atmospheres then a small company is probably toast. Most of the ones that I worked in had an atmosphere of hard work with potential long term rewards. I did get in one with a laid back "entitlement" attitude and it didn't last long. It resulted in friction between the people that were trying to make it a success and those that were just cruising and enjoying their laid back jobs. If everyone is working hard and long together then you get a very fulfilling job experience - real team building experience.

    • It is my impression that most (if not all) of the "big pharma" houses are now like this -- they all have research groups but all the exciting work is done in little startups. The majority of the little startups fail, and the majority of the remainder are bought out by one of the "big" companies. (Usually phrased as a "partnership", yeah right :-) )

    • At one of the startups I worked for, we were all called into a conference room one day and told to go home - the company was out of money. We were all stunned momentarily and then we all told each other how much we had enjoyed working together and moved on. You can really have some unusual and exciting experiences with these things. They did have one of the vey nicest looking stock certificates that I have ever seen.

      I agree that certainly a well managed company with a lot of money can have some real advantages since they can fund multiple simultaneous research projects and strike up multiple research alliances, thus increasing their chances of coming up with marketable products, while the smaller and start up companies usually have all their eggs in just one or very few baskets.

      I think that Merck used to be one of those large companies that had money and good management, which resulted in a very viable research environment. In my own opinion, I just don't think that is true anymore. Apparently they still have money, but I think that Gilmartin and his management style and team have pretty much ruined morale and that he is driving people from the company that they shouldn't want to lose. Can Merck recover? My feeling is absolutely yes, but it won't be unless Gilmartin is gone and if the BOD is able to recruit a good leader who doesn't give the impression of being an incompetent and self serving individual. I really do think that the investment community (along with his employees) in general, whisper and laugh behind his back about his total incopemtence and his inability to realize it. I think that he is laughingstock.

      My feeling is that if Gilmartin stays and is eventually succeeded by one of his protege's then the once great Merck will continue on as a muddling so-so lower tier dinosaur.

      If they can get a dynamic, research oriented leader, who can once again inspire and attract the best, then Merck will rise from its corporate ashes. The legacy of Gilmartin is the burning of Merck. Whether it will rise again is in the hands of the BOD, and their performance over the last 14 years doesn't make me feel very good.

    • my wife said the same thing about the atmosphere. she did have a great time. but in all honesty the atmosphere was too relaxed for her. both her companies have yet to make a profit.

      sure, they could get lucky and develop a cure for cancer, but in all likelihood, the odds are in favor of a company like mrk with its hand in all aspects of pharma.

    • I worked for a few. They were all a lot of fun and challenging, but it only takes one big winner.

    • my wife was a chemical engineer/research scientist at a few smaller biotech companies. all of the options that she was given over the past decade are basically worthless.

      sure there are the anomallies, but overall the larger pharma companies will be positioned to exploit the next wave of drugs. no question about it.

    • I have worked at smaller and startup research based tech companies as a Physical Chemist. They are an absolute blast to work in, the potential rewards with very low cost stock options are enormous, and the team environment is fantastic. We did not have much difficulty getting the equipment we needed and were able to run some of our experiments off site at independant labs or with associated universities who are always looking for grad studies and provide some very low cost lab rats. We had no difficulty in attracting very talented scientists from the larger established companies because people get really tired of working in "over managed" restrictive research environments such as Merck has created. So, the combination of really creative and flexible research environment (we were typically expected to allocate a certain percentage of our time on innovative research of our own selection) coupled with a competitive compensation plan and stock options that provided the opportunity to get very wealthy made it "no problem" to attract the best. If I were still in the work force, smaller research based companies are where I would be looking for carreer satisfaction and overall job enjoyment.

    • i was speaking of the sales force. but since you bring up r&d scientists i would have to say that mrk will continue to attract the best and the brightest from across the industry. if you were a top scientist, would you go to a smaller biotech company that is constantly under the scrutiny of venture capitalist or a big pharma powerhouse that has the best facilities and the largest budgets for research and development?

      sure creativity can fluorish in a variety of scenarios, but i would still put my money on the big pharma labs for developing the next wave of drugs. unlike many of the other large pharma companies that merged and consolidated r&d labs, merck chose to step up their licensing agreements with many smaller companies. this networks their chances and greatly increases the possibility of a blockbuster drug getting in the pipeline at any moment.

      "New York-based Merck has steadfastly refused to merge and has taken a more targeted approach to developing alliances.

      Oberholzer-Gee defended Merck's strategy, saying there is no proof mergers improve sales growth or research and development efforts.

      Merck has also pursued alliances with biotech companies that complement its own research rather than lead the company into new areas, according to Oberholzer-Gee. He said that could be beneficial since Merck is pursuing deals in areas where it has some knowledge, reducing the risk of entering disappointing partnerships." Associated Press
      Wall Street Said to Overreact to Recall
      Wednesday November 17, 7:44 pm ET

      its funny how quickly the small independant investor turns on a company when the stock is in the sand. just as quickly as mrk has fallen, the company can scramble to better ground and flourish once again.

    • You can't equate just filling a job position with filling it with a talented smart researcher. There are lots of "scientists" available, but the creative innovative ones are much rarer. Once upon a time, Merck was chock full of the smart, creative, innovative scientists that were motivated by their own creative desires and a creative rewarding environment. Casper Gilly has destroyed the research environment and made his priority social engineering and self enrichment of the executives and his management hirelings. The really smart and creative researchers will find lucrative employment elsewhere, like Amgen (Merck West Coast), and will always be in demand. They will leave vacancies that Casper Gilly's crew will fill with lower tier, socially engineered, applicants. So yes, the positions will be filled, but not with the type of people who will bring success to Merck. Just backfilling positions doesn't do any good if it isn't the right people, and the smart ones don't want to be at Merck under the current management environment.

    • see posts, 83118, 83029, 82991, 83101, 83111. re: insider options and market purchases & dividend safety. dyodd.

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