A great way to grow your portfolio's value is by investing in dividend stocks. If reinvested, recurring income can help boost a stock's returns over the years. You'll be even better off if you are able to scoop up shares of dividend stocks at cheap prices.
Three stocks that are absurdly inexpensive right now and pay their shareholders every quarter are CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD). Each is a solid value investment that can serve various types of investors. Here's why all three are justified buys today.
It hasn't been a great year for CVS's stock, which is down 20% since Jan. 1, when the S&P 500 has climbed almost 6%. The company has adapted to COVID-19 by providing patients with testing locations across the country and telehealth capabilities in nearly every state. And so far, its sales have been steady. In its second-quarter results, which CVS released on Aug. 5, sales for the period through the end of June were up 3% year over year, reaching $65.3 billion. Net income of $3 billion rose by 54%, such an improvement that CVS raised its guidance for earnings and cash from operating activities.
Although that hasn't been enough to get investors excited about the stock, it makes CVS an even better buy. The average healthcare stock on the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund trades at a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 24, and more than four times book value. CVS stock doesn't even trade at half those multiples, with a P/E of just nine and a price-to-book (P/B) multiple of around 1.2. The retail pharmacy chain currently pays its shareholders a quarterly dividend of $0.5, which yields 3.3% -- higher than the S&P 500 average of about 2%.
Although investors may be concerned about the Rhode Island-based company's future in light of growing competition from online retail, the recent results suggest that CVS remains a popular go-to option for consumers. And with 1,500 HealthHub locations coming by the end of the next year, giving customers access to more healthcare services in its stores (e.g., chronic care, telehealth visits, and wellness rooms) and more reasons to make visits, that's not likely to change anytime soon.
Despite being a leader in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer's stock isn't behaving like the shares of hot commodity smaller-cap companies. Down 4% this year, the blue chip is doing better than CVS but is still nowhere near the S&P 500. The New York-based company is currently in phase 3 trials with BioNTech on its coronavirus vaccine, and the progress is going well enough that Pfizer expects to apply for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as early as next month. Analysts estimate that the vaccine could add $3.5 billion in revenue for Pfizer next year, and $1.4 billion the following year.
For a company that brought in $51.8 billion in revenue in 2019, $4.9 billion is not an earth-shattering amount of money -- a key reason why the stock isn't skyrocketing right now. Pfizer is a good investment because of the value and consistency that it offers, with or without a COVID-19 vaccine. With profits and profit margins over 10% in each of the past 10 years, Pfizer is a tried-and-true giant.
The COVID-19 vaccine is just one reason to invest in Pfizer's stock. Another reason is that it's an incredibly cheap buy that pays a great dividend. At a P/E of 15 and a P/B of 3.3, it's more expensive than CVS but still nowhere near what the average healthcare stock trading values. Its quarterly dividend of $0.38 currently yields about 4.1%, and Pfizer has increased those payments in recent years.
3. Barrick Gold
The only non-healthcare stock to make the list is Barrick Gold. It's a cheap buy even though it's been faring terrifically in 2020, climbing 45% year to date. With gold prices on the rise amid the pandemic and reaching record levels this year, investors are bullish on gold stocks. With a P/E of around 10, Barrick is a cheaper buy than other gold stocks, including Yamana Gold, which trades at a multiple of 21 times earnings, or Kinross Gold, which has a P/E of 13. Value investors typically look for a P/E below 15, and Barrick sits well under that threshold.
Part of the reason the company is doing well is due to rising gold prices. Fluctuating gold prices spell risk for investors. But during times of uncertainty, investors typically buy more gold. And that's also why gold prices will should remain strong, as there's still a lot of concern surrounding COVID-19, not to mention the long-term impact it will have on the economy.
In Barrick's most recent quarterly results, released on Aug. 10 for the period ended June 30, gold production declined 15% year over year, but the company's revenue of $3.1 billion still rose by 48%. A big reason for that rise was the price of gold itself, which was 31% higher than the same period last year.
Today, Barrick pays a quarterly dividend of $0.08, which it recently increased from $0.07. At that rate, investors are earning a yield of 1.2%. It's the lowest payout on the list, but given the stock's solid performance this year, I'm sure investors are more than happy with the trade-off. And with gold potentially still in demand during the pandemic, the company may continue to benefit from a high price of gold for the foreseeable future.
Which stock is the best to buy today?
The safest buy is definitely Pfizer, with its incredible track record and the possibility of its top line getting a boost from a COVID-19 vaccine. For investors looking to take on more risk but still wanting to stay in healthcare, CVS may be the better option, as its large decline this year could set the stock up for a big rally later on, especially given its cheap valuation. Barrick Gold, meanwhile, will likely be more enticing for investors looking for a coronavirus stock, as it may generate the best returns in the near term if the pandemic continues to push the demand for gold.