Who says stocks that pay great dividends have to be expensive?
While investors often do pay a premium price for stocks that boast high dividend yields, that's not always the case. In fact, three healthcare stocks with attractive yields are incredibly cheap right now. If you're looking for bargain dividend stocks, here's why you'll definitely want to consider AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), and Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TEVA).
AbbVie: Growth, dividends, and more
You can pretty much have it all with AbbVie. The big biotech continues to deliver impressive earnings growth. Its dividend yield stands at a mouthwatering 4.14%, and the company is in good shape to increase its dividend even more down the road.
AbbVie currently uses around 60% of its earnings to pay out dividends. That's a pretty healthy level that allows room for dividend hikes. The better news, though, is that analysts expect AbbVie's earnings to increase by more than 15% annually over the next few years.
Blockbuster autoimmune disease drug Humira will be key to that earnings growth. However, AbbVie also should get plenty of help from fast-growing cancer drug Imbruvica. The biotech's pipeline includes some solid candidates also, especially chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) drug Venclexta, endometriosis candidate Elagolix, and experimental lung cancer drug Rova-T.
AbbVie's stock trades at only 11 times forward earnings. This valuation is even more attractive factoring in the company's growth prospects.
Gilead Sciences: Dirt cheap with an increasing dividend
Gilead Sciences' yield of 2.61% might not be as high as AbbVie's, but the company could grow its dividend at a faster rate. Gilead announced a 10% dividend hike in February 2016. Another one could be on the way.
The biotech is using less than 17% of its earnings to pay out dividends. Gilead could easily double its dividend without breaking a sweat. I don't necessarily expect that to happen anytime soon, but the company certainly has the financial ability to do so if it wanted.
Unlike AbbVie, however, Gilead's earnings aren't growing. The go-go days for its hepatitis C virus (HCV) franchise are now gone. Gilead has felt the impact of slipping sales for its HCV drugs Harvoni and Sovaldi. The company's newer products and late-stage pipeline candidates could generate enough new revenue to largely offset the lower sales from Harvoni and Sovaldi, but it probably won't be sufficient for Gilead to achieve much earnings growth.
On the other hand, Gilead Sciences has a boatload of cash to spend on acquisitions that could improve its earnings outlook. Regardless, the stock is crazy cheap right now, trading at less than seven times forward earnings.
Teva: Stock down but yield is up
Teva's dividend yield of 4.03% slightly lags behind AbbVie's. However, unlike both AbbVie and Gilead Sciences, the Israel-based drugmaker doesn't have much room for dividend hikes. Teva is using nearly 79% of earnings to cover its dividend right now. After a decade of increases, the company has kept its dividend payout steady over the last two years.
Investors probably don't need to worry about Teva's juicy yield being in jeopardy, though. The company should be able to grow earnings, albeit slowly perhaps, over the next few years. Teva's acquisition last year of Actavis Generics from Allergan will definitely help with increasing revenue and earnings.
But is Teva's stock slide over? Shares have dropped over 45% in the last 12 months with no signs yet of bottoming out. My view is that Teva likely won't fall too much below current levels, although I wouldn't go as far as predicting an imminent rebound.
The good news for investors is that Teva's stock is now cheaper than it's been in a while. Teva trades below seven times forward earnings.
Which of these three stocks is the best pick for investors? Probably AbbVie -- for now, at least.
There's really not much to dislike about AbbVie. Humira could face some serious competition from biosimilars at some point (one has already won FDA approval), but the company can probably fend off rivals for a few more years. I like the upside for Imbruvica and Venclexta. And you can count on AbbVie prioritizing its dividend.
All that being said, I suspect Gilead Sciences' stock price and dividend payout are headed up. I doubt Gilead will remain this cheap for too much longer. While AbbVie gets the nod for now, Gilead might prove to be the bigger winner over the long run.
Keith Speights owns shares of Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool recommends Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.