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Why AbbVie (ABBV) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

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All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. 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

Based in North Chicago, AbbVie (ABBV - Free Report) is in the Medical sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -28.44%. Currently paying a dividend of $1.07 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 6.49%. In comparison, the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's yield is 2.82%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.97%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $4.28 is up 19.2% 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 21.14%. 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 51%. This means it paid out 51% 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 $8.89 per share, with earnings expected to increase 12.39% from the year ago period.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. But, not every company offers 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, ABBV is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold).


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