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Why AbbVie (ABBV) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

Zacks Equity Research
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Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, 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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

AbbVie in Focus

Headquartered in North Chicago, AbbVie (ABBV) is a Medical stock that has seen a price change of -14.64% so far this year. The drugmaker is paying out a dividend of $1.07 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 5.44% compared to the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's yield of 3.04% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.94%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $4.28 is up 19.2% from last year. In the past five-year period, AbbVie has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 20.20%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. AbbVie's current payout ratio is 52%, meaning it paid out 52% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for ABBV for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $8.81 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 11.38%.

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. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.

Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, ABBV presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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