Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY -0.56%), one of the more reliable dividend payers in the pharmaceutical industry, is getting set to hand out its new distribution. On Thursday, the sprawling company's board of directors declared a new quarterly dividend of $0.45 per share, which will be dispensed on Nov. 2 to investors of record as of Oct. 2.

That matches the three preceding amounts, the most recent of which was paid out on Aug. 3. Prior to that, the company had distributed $0.41 per share.

Stethoscope atop $100 bills and pennies.

Image source: Getty Images.

As the new dividend will be the fourth time in a row Bristol Myers Squibb has paid the same amount, the next disbursement will likely represent a raise. For many years, the company has lifted its dividend once annually, close to the beginning of a year. Its lifts tend to be incremental, however: Since the start of 2010, the payout has risen relatively slowly, from $0.32 per share to the present level.

As a stock, Bristol Myers Squibb has had an up-and-down year, despite a portfolio of drugs that treat a fairly wide range of ailments and a strong pipeline. However, the company isn't involved in any meaningful way in efforts to develop either a treatment or a vaccine to combat the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which, for obvious reasons, is the current hot area of development in the industry just now.

On Thursday, Bristol Myers Squibb shares sank by 1.3%, although that wasn't as steep as the 1.8% decline posted by the S&P 500 index.