Healthcare Stocks With at Least 30 Years of Dividend Increases
While it is not the only factor to consider, theannual dividend can solidify whether a stock will benefit you financially. And among the many industry sectors to invest in, healthcare can be one of the most stable, especially regarding thedividend yield. Indeed, big dogs likeJohnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ),AbbVie, Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), andAbbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) have been increasing their dividends for more than 50 years; and ABBV is considered one of thebest dividend stocks out there.
The Marketbeatdividend calculator could help you determine if a stock is right for you. In addition, here are some strategies forpicking the best dividend stocks [regardless of the industry]. Meanwhile, several lesser-known health sector stocks have paid increasing dividends for at least the last 30 years, dividend aristocrats and one qualifying as a dividend king.
Becton Dickinson & Company: 51 years
Of all the companies on this list,Becton Dickinson & Co. (NYSE: BDX) may seem the most obscure, but they are obviously among the most prolific. BDX is paying a$3.64 annual dividend at a 3-year annualized growth rate of 4.33%. The dividend payout ratio is 68.68%, with a 1.58% dividend yield.
More importantly, while stock value isdown around 10% on both the quarter, and the year, the medical device manufacturer projects earnings will grow 10.91% by this time next year. Of course, its current share price ($229.71) is higher than that of the big three mentioned above, but itsModerate Buy rating certainly makes it worth a look.
Medtronic PLC: 46 years
The world-class medical technology companyMedtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) has an annual dividend of $2.72 at a 3.55% yield. And while its 7.99% annualized 3-year growth rate is impressive, the89.74% dividend payout ratio could turn some heads.
MDT's current share price is near the 52-week low, but its $90.72 price target does represent an18.3% upside. That might make it an even more attractive price than the big dogs mentioned above. A 25.24 P/E is certainly strong, but earnings projections are mostly flat, so caution is advised if growth is your objective. Accordingly, MDT remains down3.75% on the quarter and more than 26% since last year, which justifies its Hold rating.
Cardinal Health, Inc.: 37 years
Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) has a sturdy record of acquisitions, the most recent of which was the $2.2 billion all-stock Bindley Western Industries. The company's steady growth has helped CAH pay a$1.98 annual dividend at a 2.82% yield. And while the 1.00% annualized 3-year growth rate is not as exciting, a 36.33% payout ratio makes up for it.
Analysts have given CAH a Hold rating, even though the current $71.19 share value is in the top 33% of the 52-week range. Earnings are projected to grow about 15%, and the $80.64 price target represents a14% upside, but the stock has had a rocky year. The share price may beup more than 35% since last year but remains down about 10% in the last quarter.
Roper Technologies, Inc: 31 years
Medical and scientific imaging companyRoper Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ROP) is paying out an annual dividend of $2.73 at an impressive 3-year annualized growth of 10.20%. Sure, the0.65% dividend yield may not be much to write home about, but the 6.41% dividend payout ratio still offers a consistent return.
ROP isdown about 3% on all measures, so it may not be as impressive as other stocks on this list. Still, analysts give ROP a Moderate Buy rating. And while the $495.67 price target may represent an 18% upside, it is a pricey investment, especially with a less-impressive9.09 P/E. With earnings projected to grow only about 5%, ROP might not be as lucrative as other stocks on this list, at least in the short term.
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.: 30 Years
Specializing in the manufacturing, packaging, and delivery of injectable drugs,West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST)saw a production boost during the Covid-19 pandemic. This may have maintained its annualized 3-year dividend growth rate of 14.06% and a 9.84% dividend payout ratio. However, itsannual dividend is only $0.67 at a slight yield of 0.24%, so WST may not be as exciting as those mentioned above.
At $314.55, WST’s share price is at the dead center of the52-week range but might be a little high for some. WST remains about 33% up onboth the quarter and the year, so the stock is improving. Earnings are down, unfortunately, but they are also expected to improve–by more than 14%–next year. That said, the $291.25 price target represents a7.4% downside. So while the dividend is strong, it makes sense that analysts have given the stock a HOLD rating.
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