Inflation is making life harder for everyone, including retirees who need to stretch out their savings to help cover additional costs. One way to help offset rising inflation is to invest in dividend stocks. Three stocks that offer above-average yields and that have solid businesses are Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), and Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Here's why retirees should consider adding these stocks to their portfolios today.
Leading drugmaker Pfizer rose in popularity over the past few years due to its COVID-19 vaccine, but its business is bigger than just that one area. Through the first six months of this year, many of its products have generated more than $1 billion in revenue, including Eliquis ($3.6 billion), Prevnar ($3 billion), Ibrance ($2.4 billion), and Vyndaqel ($1.5 billion).
In August, the healthcare company obtained accelerated approval for its blood cancer therapy, Elrexfio, which may bring in up to $4 billion in revenue at its peak. In the long run, Pfizer's business could become even more diverse as the company has a pending $43 billion deal to acquire cancer specialist Seagen.
Pfizer's business will slow down as concerns around COVID subside, but it's still a growing company. And with a payout ratio of only 43%, there's plenty of room for the company to keep paying its dividend even if its earnings decline. At 4.6%, Pfizer's dividend yield is 3 times the size of the S&P 500 average of 1.5%.
For retirees, this can be an excellent dividend stock to own. Pfizer's business is resilient, and there's still plenty of growth on the horizon. At 11 times its estimated future earnings, the stock could prove to be a steal of a deal.
2. Procter & Gamble
Consumer goods company Procter & Gamble has many big-name brands in its portfolio, including Pampers, Downy, Mr. Clean, and others. Millions of people use its products every day, and due to its strong brands, that has allowed the business to raise prices to battle inflation without leading to a sharp decline in demand.
It reported results for its fiscal year in July. Net sales for the year ended June 30 totaled $82 billion, rising by 2% year over year. Operating income of $18.1 billion was also up by a similar percentage. Even for the current fiscal year, the company is still expecting sales growth to be between 3% and 4%.
One of the best things about Procter & Gamble's stock is its dividend of 2.4%. There are higher-yielding stocks out there for investors, but it's rare to find one as stable and consistent. In April, the company announced that it would be raising its dividend payment for a 67th consecutive year. Even among Dividend Kings, it has one of the longest track records for dividend growth.
And with the business still growing and looking in good shape, this is a rock-solid investment for retirees to hold in their portfolios.
3. Southern Company
Another solid investment option for retirees is in Southern Company, a gas and electric utility business. With 9 million customers in the U.S., it's one of the largest utility companies in the country.
What makes utility companies great investments for risk-averse investors and retirees is that their businesses benefit from recurring revenue -- its customers need to heat and power their homes on an ongoing basis. There can be some variability due to weather, but these can be fairly consistent and reliable businesses to be investing in. Southern Company's annual profit margin is normally around 10% or better.
The stock is stable as it averages a beta of just 0.50, indicating that it doesn't move in unison with the markets. That's an important feature for retirees who just want to collect a dividend and not worry about monitoring the stock.
Southern Company's dividend yields 4.1%, and while its payout ratio may seem high at around 100%, that can be a bit misleading. Accounting income also includes non-cash items, such as depreciation, which are high for utility companies. Last year, Southern Company's depreciation totaled more than $4 billion, whereas its dividend payments were only $2.9 billion.
For retirees, Southern Company's high yield, stable stock, and sound business model make it a great investment to hang on to for recurring income.
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