The beginning of the year is full of signature events. For many income investors, Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) first dividend declaration is one of them -- the pharmaceutical giant reliably declares a payout on or near the first trading day of a new year.

For 2021, that event occurred right on schedule: On Monday, Johnson & Johnson's board of directors announced that its next quarterly payout will be $1.01 per share. It will be dispensed on March 9 to stockholders of record as of Feb. 23. At the current share price, that amount would provide an annualized yield of 2.6%.

Gloved hand holding a beaker full of money.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company is a longstanding favorite of income investors, as it is a Dividend Aristocrat -- one of the relatively few S&P 500 component companies that have lifted their distributions at least once annually for a minimum of 25 years running. Johnson & Johnson has one of the longest such streaks going, at 57 years so far.

This payout, though, will be the same as the last one. Johnson & Johnson tends to make its increases with its spring dividend declarations. The last hike came in April 2020, and was a 6% boost.

Johnson & Johnson's broad business profile sets it apart from its pharmaceutical industry peers. In addition to its drug-making activities, it also has a large, well-established presence in the consumer goods market with a wide range of healthcare-related products (Band-Aid and Tylenol being among the more prominent examples). The latter segment generates strong and reliable cash flow that helps fund its dividend hikes.

On Monday, Johnson & Johnson's stock closed down by 0.6%, although that was a better result than the S&P 500 index, which slid by 1.5%. 

 
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