Abbott Laboratories (ABT) announced a 25% hike in its quarterly dividend to $0.45 per share from $0.36, marking the 49th consecutive year of increased dividend payouts. The healthcare company said that the new dividend will be paid on Feb. 16, 2021, to shareholders of record as of Jan. 15, 2021.
Abbott’s annual dividend of $1.80 per share now reflects a dividend yield of 1.7%. The company’s CEO Robert B. Ford said, “Paying a strong and growing dividend is foundational to Abbott.” He added, “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.”
Earlier on Oct. 21, Abbott delivered better-than-expected 3Q results, wherein earnings of $0.98 grew 16.7% and topped the Street’s estimate of $0.91 per share. The company’s 3Q revenues increased 9.6% year-over-year to $8.9 billion, which came in ahead of analysts’ estimate of $8.5 billion. (See ABT stock analysis on TipRanks)
Following the earnings results, BTIG analyst Marie Thibault said, “We see room for upside to our forecast, particularly in Diagnostics and Devices and expect ABT to remain a consistent outperformer. This is likely baked into the stock price, as shares trade at a premium to the comp group on both a P/E and EV/Sales basis.” She maintained a Hold rating on the stock on valuation.
Unlike Thibault, most of the Street has a bullish outlook on the stock. The Strong Buy analyst consensus is based on 9 Buys and 2 Holds. The average price target stands at $119.30 and implies upside potential of about 11.5% to current levels. Shares gained 23.2% year-to-date.