Dividend Aristocrat Abbott Laboratories (ABT) will raise its quarterly dividend by 25 percent to 45 cents next year. This follows a 12.5 percent hike to $0.36 per share announced by Abbott last year. This also marks the 49th consecutive year of dividend increases for the company. This new dividend hike is the biggest announced by Abbott since the separation from AbbVie (ABBV).
The next dividend is payable February 16, 2021, to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 15, 2021. A new annualized dividend rate of $1.80 per share yields 1.7% at a stock price of $107.
"Paying a strong and growing dividend is foundational to Abbott," said Robert B. Ford, president and chief executive officer, Abbott in the company's press release dated December 11, 2020, announcing this new dividend hike. "The increase reflects the strength and momentum of Abbott's diversified business and our ability to invest in future growth while returning immediate value to shareholders."
For Abbott this is by far the biggest dividend hike announced in more than a decade. Dividend growth has picked up with double digit increases in each of the last three years. The average annual dividend growth rate in the last five years jumps to 11.6 percent. Abbott will now pay its shareholders an estimated total dividend of $3.19 billion annually.
Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a broad line of health care products. The company's products include pharmaceuticals, nutritional, diagnostics, and vascular products. The Pharmaceutical Products segment includes a range of branded generic pharmaceuticals. Abbott’s Nutritional Products include a range of pediatric and adult nutritional products. Through St. Jude Medical the company offers products, such as rhythm management products, electrophysiology products, heart failure related products, vascular products, structural heart products and neuromodulation products. Abbott has paid consecutive quarterly dividends since 1924.