Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Health Care Stocks that have Raised Dividends for Over 30 Years

Whether you like the new health care plan or hate the new health care plan, most people would agree that health will be a growing business during the next twenty years, with the baby boomers moving to an age where medical care and medicine becomes ubiquitous. Income investors who are looking for stocks to own for the long term should consider stocks relating to health and medicine in some way.

Surprisingly, there are five health care related stocks that have increased their dividends more than 32 years in a row, according to the Dividend Increasing Stocks list at For example, the large pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories (ABT) has boosted its dividend every year for 38 years and currently sports a yield of 3.7%. The company, which has been around since 1888, has four divisions: pharmaceutical products, diagnostic products, nutritional products, and vascular products. The stock trades at ten times forward earnings.

Walgreen Co. (WAG) could also be considered a health care company as it operates over 8,000 drugstores all over the United States. The company's dividend has been bumped up for 35 years in a row and provides a current yield of 2%. The stock has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 12.

Helping to get us through the cold season (pun intended) is Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) which manufactures the famous Kleenex brand of tissues. The company also makes incontinence care products, surgical gowns, rubber exam gloves, infection control products, face masks, respiratory products, pain management products, and numerous other health care products. The stock currently yields a nice CD beating 4.2%, and has increased dividends every year for 38 years. It trades at 12 times forward earnings.

If you want to check out the other health care dividend increasers, including one that has increased its dividend for an amazing 48 years in a row, go to for the free downloadable Excel list which can be sorted and updated.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.


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