On September 14, 2017, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) announced its 375th consecutive quarterly dividend to be paid on November 15, 2017. The dividend of $0.265 per share will be paid to shareholders of record on October 13, 2017. The annual dividend for fiscal 2017 is $1.06 per share. The quarterly dividend represents a 2.0% rise over the previous fiscal 2016 quarterly dividend of $0.26 per share. Abbott Laboratories has paid approximately $922.0 million in dividends to its shareholders on a year-to-date basis.
As of September 15, 2017, the dividend yield of ABT stock is $2.05 per share. The dividend payout ratio is 145.5%. However, the five-year dividend per share growth rate for ABT stock stands at -12.0%.
Investors who are interested in gaining exposure to dividend-paying stocks and diversifying their company-specific risks to Abbott Laboratories can invest in the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG). ABT accounts for ~2.5% of VIG’s total holdings.
Dividend payment strategy
Abbott Laboratories is committed to consistent dividend payments to its shareholders. Despite undergoing a number of large acquisitions and divestments, the company prioritized dividend payments as part of its capital allocation strategy. ABT is part of the dividend aristocrats, which are stocks that have paid increasing dividends to its shareholders consistently for at least 25 years.
Some of the other dividend aristocrats in the medical device industry in the United States are Becton Dickinson (BDX), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Medtronic (MDT) with dividend yields of ~1.5, ~2.5, and ~2.3, respectively.