Things have gotten so bad at Merck that they are renting ambulances for victims of the company’s Vioxx drug and MRK sharesholders.Merck disclosed yesterday that it was in a dispute over $5.58 billion in taxes it may owe the US and Canada.Almost any child who reads a newspaper knows that Merck’s Vioxx painkiller may cause heart problems and that the company is involved in countless suits that could cost it billions of dollars in damages. And now the taxman cometh.Merck has $6.2 billion in cash on its balance sheet, so, if it had to pay these taxes, it would not have a great deal left to cover Vioxx judgments, although future earnings could generate more cash.It is hard to figure out how the tax number could get so high. Merck’s revenues are about $22 billion, so it is a pretty big bill.Merck’s shares have recovered from the Vioxx shock. Its stock has recovered from a 52-week low of $27.99 to $45.90, near its high for the period. In 2003, the stock traded at $63.The tax issue is bound to send the shares lower.It is hard, almost impossible to believe that Merck was Fortune’s Most Admired Company for six years in a row.How the mighty have fallen.
Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step
Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances?
Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free.
Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.