7 Cheap Health-Care Stocks Paying Cold, Hard Cash

As the markets whipsawed up and down last week, investors panicked about what to do with their investments. Should they sell before things get worse or take advantage of opportunities that might be out there? It's a tough call to make sometimes. The best advice I can give is to stay the course of your investing strategy, whatever it is that may be.

However, if you have some cash to invest, now is a great time to pick up some really awesome dividend stocks at dirt cheap prices. Companies that pay dividends have illustrated that over time, they have outperformed their non-paying brethren. In addition, these same companies tend to be more conservative and more focused on rewarding their shareholders by consistently shelling out those lucrative dividend payments. So if you can take advantage of a time like right now, when the market is already down 10% over the last three months, you might be able to find that hidden gem you've been looking for.

To help you on your quest, I ran a screen for health-care companies paying dividends above 2%, with P/E ratios less than 17, that are trading at least 10% below their 12-month high, and that have garnered the respect of our CAPS investing community with at least a four -or five-star rating. I've ranked and ordered the results below by the top seven highest dividend payers.

Company

Dividend Yield

P/E Ratio

% Below 12-Month High

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

PDL BioPharma (Nasdaq: PDLI  ) 10.5% 7.7 15.1% ****
Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY  ) 5.6% 8.2 12.4% ****
Psychemedics (NYSE: PMD  ) 5.5% 15.4 21.3% ****
PetMed Express (Nasdaq: PETS  ) 5.0% 12.3 46.6% ****
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) 4.5% 16.5 16.7% ****
AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN  ) 3.8% 7.8 15.6% ****
National Healthcare (NYSE: NHC  ) 3.7% 8.3 38.9% ****

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Aug. 15.

Granted, there are probably some good reasons why some of these stocks are trading so cheaply and have fallen from grace. Many of these health-care companies have seen a fall because of the uncertain nature of our country's health-care system moving forward, with both political parties split about how to proceed. PetMed Express has seen its own share of problems with profitability; in three of the last four quarters, it's missed Wall Street's estimates.

Nonetheless, these stocks are paying absolutely phenomenal dividends and they are trading extremely cheap, so if you've got interest in them, it would pay to do your own due diligence and look into them further.

Seeking out other dividend stocks that could help boost your portfolio? Check out my colleague's brand new free article, "U.S. Downgrade Be Damned: Here's What I'm Buying Now."

Jordan DiPietro owns no shares. The Motley Fool owns shares of PetMed Express. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Pfizer. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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