Multinational medical devices and healthcare company, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) announced an increase in its quarterly cash common dividend for the 50th consecutive year. Moreover, the Board also declared a new share buyback program.
Following the news, shares reached a new all-time high of $134.50 and closed the day up 1.4% at $134.37 on December 10.
Abbott, which is a part of The Dividend Aristocrat Index, increased its quarterly common dividend by 4.4% to $0.47 per share, following a 25% increase in its common dividend in 2021. This marks the 392nd consecutive quarterly dividend paid by Abbott since 1924. The dividend is payable on February 15, 2022, to shareholders on record as of January 14, 2022.
Additionally, the company’s Board also approved a new share buyback program of up to $5 billion, in addition to the unused portion of the earlier program approved by the Board in 2019.
President, and CEO of Abbott, Robert B. Ford, said, “Fifty years of dividend growth reflects the consistently strong performance of our diversified business model… It exemplifies our longstanding commitment to delivering sustainable growth that fuels innovation as well as shareholder returns.”
Wall Street View
With 11 Buys and 2 Holds, the ABT stock commands a Strong Buy consensus rating. The average Abbott price target of $141.58 implies 5.37% upside potential to current levels. Shares have gained 25.8% over the past year.
According to TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, Abbott scores a “Perfect 10”, which indicates that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.