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Category: Pharmaceutical
Dividend Stock: CVS Caremark Cares About Its Dividend
Dividend Stock: CVS Caremark Cares About Its Dividend

CVS Caremark Cares About Its Dividend

 CVS Caremark Cares About Its Dividend

About: (CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), dividend stock, Dividend Genius)
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CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), the drugstore operator and pharmacy benefits provider, upped its quarterly dividend by 15% to 8.75 cents a share from 7.625 cents. The new dividend will be paid on February 2 to shareholders of record on January 22.

            This is the seventh consecutive year CVS has increased its dividend and the news may be all the more impressive when considering that the company said late last year that its Caremark business had lost several key pharmacy benefits clients. The shares currently yield just 0.9%, but with free cash of $1.24 billion and a payout ratio of just 12% before the new increase, CVS certainly has room for more increases in the future.

 
Pharma Sector Brings A Couple Of Pre-Christmas Dividend Hikes
Pharma Sector Brings A Couple Of Pre-Christmas Dividend Hikes

Pharma Sector Brings A Couple Of Pre-Christmas Dividend Hikes

 Pharma Sector Brings A Couple Of Pre-Christmas Dividend Hikes

About: Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT), JNJ, Merck (NYSE: MRK), Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK)
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Perhaps Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE) dividend increase touched earlier this touched off a trend in the pharmaceuticals sector. The biggest U.S. drugmaker boosted its quarterly payout to 18 cents a share from 16 cents after completing its mega-acquisition of Wyeth and some analysts are expecting more to come from the drug giant in 2010 regarding the payout. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX) are other pharma names to boost their payouts in recent months and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) joined the fray earlier this week with a 3.2% dividend hike that will take its quarterly payout to 32 cents a share.

Not surprisingly, Bristol-Myers cited its strong cash flow and the expectation for continued strength in the free cash department as reasons for the dividend hike. The new dividend will be payable on March 3 to shareholders of record on February 8.

The pharma sector remains home to some reliable dividend payers and juicy yields. Pfizer is back on the right track and the Bristol-Myers announcement is a nice stocking-stuffer for income investors, but it is also worth noting that these two companies, along with Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT), JNJ, Merck (NYSE: MRK), Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) all yield 3% or higher.

Even West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE: WST), a mid-cap medical device maker that is dwarfed in size by the aforementioned names, got in on the dividend raising action, boosting its quarterly payout to 16 cents a share for 2010 from 15 cents. Good news to be sure, but we'll lean in favor of large cap pharma for now.

 
Standard & Poor's Dividend Aristocrats New Additions
Standard & Poor's Dividend Aristocrats New Additions

Big Changes Afoot For Dividend Aristocrats Index

 Big Changes Afoot For Dividend Aristocrats Index

About: (BF.B, Brown Forman, CTAS, Cintas, BBT, BB T, Legg Mason, LM, M&T Bank, MTB, State Street, SST, US Bankcorp USB, Avery Dennison, AVY, Gannett, GCI, Johnson Controls, JCI, General Electric, GE, Pfizer, PFE)
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There are dozens, if not hundreds of indexes tracking various sectors of the market, but for dividend hunters, the Standard & Poor's Dividend Aristocrats Index is one worth watching. The index equal-weighted and members are reweighted every quarter with membership reviews taking place every December. One key metric must be met to be considered a Dividend Aristocrat and that is at least 25 consecutive years of dividend increases, so when we've mentioned the index in the past, some of the constituents were somewhat puzzling to us.

            Some of 2008 and 2009's most noteworthy dividend cutters have been found among the Aristocrats, but that's set to change on December 18. Spirits maker Brown Forman (NYSE: BF.B) is slated to be a new addition. Brown Forman makes Southern Comfort and Jack Daniels among other familiar brands and the shares currently yield 2.2%. Another new addition will be uniform maker Cintas (Nasdaq: CTAS), which yields 1.6%.

            The departure list is lengthier and more infamous to be sure. Littered with dividend offenders from the financial sector, BB&T (NYSE: BBT), Legg Mason (NYSE: LM), M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB), State Street (NYSE: STT) and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) are among the departures from the Dividend Aristocrats Index.

            Joining the financials in saying “adios” to the index are Avery Dennison (NYSE: AVY), Gannett (NYSE: GCI), Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE).

 For more information about Dividend Genius, visit www.dividendgenius.com. To see the latest special offer from Dividend Genius, visit: http://www.dividendstockblog.com/dividend-genius-video.html