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

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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 when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.

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 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 - Free Report) is a Medical stock that has seen a price change of 7.48% so far this year. Currently paying a dividend of $1.3 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 4.52%. In comparison, the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's yield is 2.58%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.33%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $5.20 is up 10.2% from last year. AbbVie has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 21.31%. 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 47%. This means it paid out 47% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, ABBV expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $12.60 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 19.32%.

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.

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. 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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