There's a problem with many dividend stocks on the market right now. It's not that their dividends are too low; instead, their valuations are too high. When the next bear market comes, investors who bought the stocks for the great dividends could be stuck with big losses. Those losses could easily more than wipe out all of the income they received.
Here's the good news: This problem doesn't extend to all dividend stocks. Some of them don't have ridiculously high valuations. A few are even downright bargains. Here are three great dividend stocks that are simply too cheap to ignore.
AbbVie (ABBV -0.48%) ranks as one of the least expensive healthcare stocks on the market. Its shares currently trade at less than nine times expected earnings. By comparison, the forward earnings multiple for the S&P 500 index is nearly 23.
The big drugmaker also offers one of the most attractive dividends on the market. AbbVie's dividend currently yields over 4.7%. The company is a Dividend Aristocrat, an elite group of S&P 500 members with at least 25 consecutive years of dividend increases. AbbVie's record stands at 49 years in a row of dividend hikes.
There's one major knock against AbbVie: Top-selling drug Humira faces biosimilar competition in the U.S. beginning in 2023. Sales for the blockbuster autoimmune disease drug will undoubtedly plunge. However, AbbVie has known for a long time that day would come and has been busy getting ready for it.
The company already has two autoimmune disease drugs on the market (Rinvoq and Skyrizi) that should largely offset the lower sales for Humira. AbbVie's lineup also includes other drugs with fast-growing sales, including blood cancer drugs Imbruvica and Venclexta. With these and other growth drivers, AbbVie's dividend appears to be pretty safe.
2. Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY -1.05%) is another big drugmaker that's even cheaper than AbbVie. The pharma stock trades at a little over eight times expected earnings.
Investors also have a lot to like with BMS' dividend, as its yield currently stands at 3%. There were some concerns that the 2019 acquisition of Celgene could negatively impact BMS' dividend program. The company addressed those worries head-on, though, by continuing to increase its dividend payout -- most recently, it announced a dividend hike of 8.9% last month.
BMS' growth prospects make its valuation even more appealing. Wall Street analysts project that the company will deliver average annual earnings growth of more than 21% over the next five years.
This level of growth should be attainable. BMS already has multiple blockbusters with strong sales growth, including blood cancer drugs Revlimid and Pomalyst/Imnovid and blood thinner Eliquis. Its pipeline is also loaded with programs seeking new indications for approved drugs, such as cancer immunotherapy Opdivo and several promising new candidates, including cancer cell therapies ide-cel and liso-cel.
There aren't many profitable stocks on the market that are less expensive than Viatris (VTRS). Its shares trade at less than five times expected earnings. That's dirt cheap no matter how you look at it.
Technically, Viatris doesn't pay a dividend. So how did it make our list? The drugmaker has only been an official entity since November 2020 after the merger of Mylan with Pfizer's Upjohn unit. Viatris hasn't initiated a dividend program yet, but will soon. And the company expects that its dividend yield will be close to 5%.
What about growth? Don't look for Viatris' revenue to increase very much over the next four years or so. After then, though, the company's pipeline should fuel solid revenue growth. On the other hand, Viatris expects to deliver modest earnings growth right out of the gate as it achieves synergies from the merger of Mylan and Upjohn.
Viatris could be a somewhat boring stock. For investors seeking income, though, boredom is beautiful.