10 Pharmaceutical Stocks that Pay Dividends

- October 10th, 2016

In the high risk realm of pharmaceutical investing, stocks that pay dividends can seem more secure: here are companies confident and established enough to regularly share corporate profits among shareholders.

In the high risk realm of pharmaceutical investing, stocks that pay dividends can seem more secure: here are companies confident and established enough to regularly share corporate profits among shareholders.
With that in mind, here are 10 pharmaceutical stocks that provide payments, along with a snapshot of their dividend history. Because while these companies can seem like a safer choice, there is no guarantee that their dividend payments will remain constant—and investors would be wise to examine past patterns in hopes of predicting the future.
All figures are current as of October 11, 2016.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS)

Latest dividend per share: 2.72
Dividend yield: 3.46
Novartis’ dividend has risen steadily since 1996. The board most recently proposed its 19th consecutive increase: a four percent hike, which was approved on February 23, 2016. The dividend was paid out six days later, on February 29.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK)

Latest dividend per share: 0.50
Dividend yield: 5.14
GlaxoSmithKline use a European inspired model of dividend payments: the company makes quarterly payouts that vary in amount, with the final dividend payment usually higher than those made at the start of the year.
As a result, its dividend is less stable, particularly when talking US dollars. Although Glaxo keeps payments fairly regular in terms of British pounds, the fluctuating exchange rate can make dividends seem more variable to American investors.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Latest dividend per share: 0.8
Dividend yield: 2.69
Johnson & Johnson has been called one of the market’s best dividend stocks. The first half of 2016 saw the company increases its quarterly payout by seven percent. That continues a 54 year-long pattern for the company.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

Latest dividend per share: 0.26
Dividend yield: 2.42
Abbott considers dividends a critical aspect of the company’s “investment identity.” Since 1924, they’ve announced over 370 dividend payments. As for the amount? It’s increased steadily for the last 44 years.

AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV)

Latest dividend per share: 0.57
Dividend yield: 3.63
Formerly part of Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie continues the company’s long tradition of regular dividend payments. Shareholders have seen regular dividends since 2013, when AbbVie separated from Abbott. The amounts have also increased—from $0.40 per share to $0.57.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)

Latest dividend per share: 0.30
Dividend yield: 3.57
Pfizer’s average dividend increase since 2000 has been 9.66 percent, according to The Street. That’s an impressive figure, but it might actually give some investors pause: as The Motley Fool reported, this payout ratio is close to 100 percent of the company’s trailing earnings, which doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN)

Latest dividend per share: 0.45
Dividend yield: 4.34
AstraZeneca typically pays dividends twice a year, with the second installment worth more. Unlike some other companies on this list, AstraZeneca is less focused on increasing the payment each and every year. Instead, the company asserts that the Board will attempt to share corporate earnings among investors “through periodic share repurchases.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)

Latest dividend per share: 0.38
Dividend yield: 2.76
Bristol-Myers Squibb has paid dividends to investors since 1933—and they’ve yet to miss a year. Little wonder, then, that the ETF Channel labelled this company a “Top 25 Dividend Giant” last year.

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY)

Latest dividend per share: 0.51
Dividend yield: 2.50
Eli Lilly has a strong dividend yield of 2.5 percent. However, investors should be aware that until recently, the dividend payout was frozen at 0.49. Quarterly payouts remained there from 2008 to 2014, when the dividend was finally increased to 0.5.

Merck (NYSE:MRK)

Latest dividend per share: 0.42
Dividend yield: 2.94
Merck does have a history of regularly increasing dividend payments. But as The Street reported, the raises can seem minor compared to other companies on this list: between 2000 and 2016, Merck’s increases averaged 3.2 percent.
The number doesn’t increase much when we narrow the range to recent years: from 2011 to 2015, the annual dividend increase was 3.5 percent.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates.
Securities Disclosure: I, Chelsea Pratt, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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