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This is Why AbbVie (ABBV) is a Great Dividend Stock

Zacks Equity Research

Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.

AbbVie in Focus

AbbVie (ABBV) is headquartered in North Chicago, and is in the Medical sector. The stock has seen a price change of -20.13% since the start of the year. Currently paying a dividend of $1.07 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 5.81%. In comparison, the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's yield is 2.72%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.91%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $4.28 is up 19.2% from last year. Over the last 5 years, AbbVie has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 21.41%. Any future dividend growth will depend on both earnings growth and the company's payout ratio; a payout ratio is the proportion of a firm's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. AbbVie's current payout ratio is 51%, meaning it paid out 51% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

ABBV is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $8.93 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 12.90%.

Bottom Line

From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide a quarterly payout.

For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that ABBV is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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