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

Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the 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 - Free Report) is headquartered in North Chicago, and is in the Medical sector. The stock has seen a price change of -15.82% since the start of the year. The drugmaker is currently shelling out a dividend of $1.07 per share, with a dividend yield of 5.51%. This compares to the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's yield of 2.98% and the S&P 500's yield of 2.03%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its 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 20.20%. 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 52%. This means 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

Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. But, not every company offers 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that ABBV is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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