3 Big Pharma Dividend Darlings

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Drugmakers are a staple in dividend investors portfolios, but Bristol-Myers (BMY), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Merck (MRK) may be among the best for investors to buy and hold.

Text of 3 Big Pharma Dividend Darlings

  • 1. 3 Big Pharma Dividend Darlings

2. 3 Dividend Darlings You Need to Know About Drug companies are staples in dividend investors' portfolios thanks to their predictable demand and solid cash flow. However, many drug companies, including Bristol-Myers, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck have seen dividend yields slide as markets have pushed shares to new highs. Although it may be tempting to simply buy those drug companies with the highest dividend yield, investors should consider how patent expiration and fast growing products may impact future dividend payments before buying shares. These three dividend darlings offer investors an intriguing blend of income and growth catalysts that could send dividend payouts higher. 3. 1. Bristol-Myers Bristol hasnt escaped the patent cliff. Plavix lost exclusivity in 2012, putting $2.5 billion in sales up for grabs and forcing a major restructuring to shore up margin. However, offsetting Plavix are Bristols fast growing Yervoy, Sprycel, and Orencia. Yervoy sales grew 36% to $960 million in 2013 Sprycel sales grew 26% to $1.28 billion in 2013 Orencia sales grew 23% to $1.44 billion in 2013 Bristol-Myers 2.8% forward dividend yield is supported by fast-growing cancer drugs 4. Bristol-Myers Investors should watch to see if Bristols cash dividend payout ratio, which measures operating cash minus capex and preferred dividends falls. If so, there could be room for future dividend hikes. If not, its unlikely. 5. 2. Johnson & Johnson Johnson lost patent protection on $2.27 billion worth of sales last year when patents on heartburn medication Aciphex and anemia drug Procrit expired. Johnson also lost protection for its ADHD drug Concerta in 2011 However, offsetting those losses are fast-growing new blockbusters Xarelto, Zytiga, and Stelara. Xarelto sales grew from $239 million to $864 million in 2013 Zytiga sales grew 77% to $1.7 billion in 2013 Stelara sales grew 47% to $1.5 billion in 2013 Johnsons 2.7% forward dividend yield is on solid footing thanks to new blockbusters 6. Johnson & Johnson Johnsons cash dividend payout ratio is higher than a few years ago, but remains healthy at 57%. That suggests there could be room for future dividend hikes, especially if it trends lower. 7. 3. Merck & Company Merck lost exclusivity for its $5 billion-a-year Singulair in 2012. Sales of Singulair toppled nearly 70% to $1.2 billion in 2013, forcing full year sales down 7% to $44 billion. Merck also lost protection on its $900 million-a-year brain-cancer drug Temodar, and its $600 million-a-year drug Maxalt last year. However, offsetting those headwinds are Gardasil, Isentress, and Zostavax. Gardasil sales grew 14% to $1.8 billion in 2013 Isentress sales grew 16% to $442 million in 2013 Zostavax sales grew 16% to $758 million in 2013 Mercks 3.1% forward dividend yield is the highest of the three, but comes with more risk. 8. Merck & Company Mercks cash dividend payout ratio has retreated to 52%. That gives Merck room to return more money to shareholders if it sells its nutrition and animal health business. 9. 9 rock-solid dividend stocks you can buy today! Unlock the secret few financial professionals will admit, that dividend paying stocks handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren.