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2 Cheap Dividend Stocks You Can Buy Right Now

By David Jagielski - Updated Feb 28, 2020 at 2:46PM

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Buying low is even better when it means locking in a good yield.

Stocks that are good deals and also pay dividends can be ideal investments for investors who are looking to buy and hold. The dividend income can inject some valuable recurring cash into your portfolio, and there's always the allure of making money from a stock because it has risen in value -- which can sometimes produce even greater returns.

The two stocks below give investors the ability to earn significant capital appreciation as well as collect dividend income that's risen over the years. Their dividend yields are currently paying more than 4%, which is well above the S&P 500 average of just 2%.

1. AbbVie

Biopharmaceutical company AbbVie (ABBV 1.93%) currently offers investors an attractive dividend yield of about 5% per year. Such an impressive yield is rare, especially from a large company like AbbVie. With a market cap of about $140 billion, this healthcare stock can be a strong pillar to build your portfolio around. With profits totaling $3.3 billion over the past four quarters and a consistent record of more than $32 billion in sales in each of the last two years, AbbVie offers a lot of stability. 

But with sales growth of just 1.6% in 2019, the stock is predominantly an attractive buy for dividend investors. It's hard to argue with that, given that AbbVie offers both a high yield today and the likelihood of an even better one years from now.

The dividend aristocrat has been increasing its dividend payments for nearly 50 years in a row, including when it was a part of Abbott Laboratories (ABT 3.05%). Its most recent increase came in November when the company declared a dividend of $1.18, a 10.3% hike from its previous payment of $1.07. Its quarterly payments have more than doubled from the $0.49 that AbbVie was paying investors at the start of 2015.

A pile of cash.

Image source: Getty Images.

While AbbVie is a good dividend buy, it gets even better when factoring in its price. The stock currently trades at a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 18 and a forward P/E of only 9. Those are reasonable multiples given the company's tepid growth. However, with the company's deal with Allergan likely to go through later this year which will only add to its growth, AbbVie is a much more valuable prospect to buy today. 

2. Verizon Communications

Verizon (VZ -2.17%) is an attractive option for investors who are looking for more growth than what they may get with AbbVie. The communications company is building out its 5G network and promising ultra-fast speeds, and it could become a popular buy in 2020 as investors flock to the latest and greatest technology.  

The company is an industry leader, and with that comes a lot of stability. The low-volatility stock generated at least $32 billion in revenue in each of the past four quarters, with strong profits to go along with it. Any boost the company gets from its rollout of 5G will be gravy -- and that can make the stock an even better buy today. 

At a minimum, it's a great dividend buy. Currently, Verizon pays its shareholders a quarterly dividend of $0.615, which means investors are earning 4.2% annually if they invest today. While Verizon doesn't have AbbVie's long history of increasing dividends, it's no slouch, announcing in September that it was raising its payouts for the 13th straight year. Its increases have been modest, with the dividend climbing 11.8% over five years -- that's just a bit higher than the percentage by which AbbVie increased its dividend payments a few months ago. 

The one danger for consumers when investing in Verizon is that telecom stocks can be much more volatile and receptive to the market's swings. In just the past month Verizon's stock is down 5% which is in line with the 4% drop the S&P 500 has gone on, which can be largely attributed to the market's instability of late, primarily due to fears relating to the coronavirus. Over the same period, AbbVie is up 5% and looks a lot more stable.

But over the long term, Verizon's still a good value buy, especially with the stock trading at a P/E of 12 and a forward P/E of a little more than 11. 

Which stock should you buy today?

Both stocks are great options if you're looking for a dividend to buy today. The difference comes down to capital appreciation and which one is likely to achieve stronger returns. Given the competitiveness and churn in the telecom industry, the edge goes to AbbVie. It trades at a lower forward P/E and has a longer history of paying dividends, and its industry should provide more safety for investors. The addition of Allergan into the fold will help diversify its business and should give it another gear with which to drive more growth for investors.

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Stocks Mentioned

Verizon Communications Inc. Stock Quote
Verizon Communications Inc.
$50.96 (-2.17%) $-1.13
AbbVie Inc. Stock Quote
AbbVie Inc.
$152.34 (1.93%) $2.89
Allergan plc Stock Quote
Allergan plc
Abbott Laboratories Stock Quote
Abbott Laboratories
$109.45 (3.05%) $3.24

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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