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Merck raises dividend by a penny

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) -- Merck said Tuesday that it has increased its quarterly dividend by a penny to 44 cents per share.

The new dividend will be made on Jan. 8 to stockholders of record as of Dec. 16.

The drugmaker said the increase reflects confidence in the company's future as it increases productivity and invests in its most promising research and development opportunities.

Shares in Merck & Co. Inc. slipped 25 cents to $49.41 by late afternoon. Its stock is up 21 percent for 2013.