Are you looking for a dividend stock that comes with a high yield? As a strong bull market pushes many stocks to new 52-week highs, the average yield on the S&P 500 still sits only around 1.6%. And many companies have cut or suspended their payouts over the past year as a result of the pandemic and fraught economic outlook. The good news is there are still some safe, income-generating investments out there if you're after some recurring cash flow.
Pfizer (PFE 2.92%), Campbell Soup (CPB -0.72%), and Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG 1.07%) are three stocks that pay relatively high yields and have strong businesses. From healthcare to packaged foods to utilities, they each cover a different industry and can help diversify your portfolio while offering payouts that usually hover over 3%.
Pfizer's stock has been off to a rough start in 2021, down 6% year to date even though the S&P 500 is up about 5% over the same time frame. Part of the decline could be due to negative press as multiple countries have criticized the company for delays in the shipment of its COVID-19 vaccine as Pfizer has focused on increasing its production capacity, and that has led to temporary interruptions. However, demand remains strong for its vaccine, and earlier this month, the company confirmed the U.S. government had ordered 100 million more doses, bringing its total purchase to 300 million thus far.
On Feb. 2, Pfizer released its fourth-quarter results for 2020. Sales for the period ended Dec. 31, 2020 totaled $11.7 billion -- a year-over-year increase of 12%. Leading the way in terms of sales was Pfizer's rare disease segment, which grew its revenue at a rate of 24%. Oncology revenue increased by 21%. Net income of $594 million was also an improvement from the $337 million loss Pfizer incurred a year ago, which was largely due to impairment costs. The business has been performing well without a big influx from COVID-19 revenue. Pfizer anticipates that in 2021, it could generate up to $15 billion from the rollout of its coronavirus vaccine.
With a robust and diverse business, Pfizer is a great buy, especially with the recent dip in price. The healthcare company also recently raised its payouts from $0.38 every quarter to $0.39 and the dividend now yields 4.4%, making it an even better investment. Despite the high yield, this is fairly safe dividend. Pfizer's payout ratio is less than 70% and the company has been making payments for decades.
2. Campbell Soup
As health officials administer vaccines, there's renewed hope that a pandemic recovery could take place soon. And so it may not be surprising that food company Campbell Soup, which fared well when consumers were staying at home and not dining out at restaurants, has been struggling lately, and is down just over 1% so far in 2021.
Campbell Soup is coming off a strong first-quarter performance. For the period ending Nov. 1, 2020, its net sales of $2.3 billion grew by 7% from the prior-year period. Its meals and beverages segment has been driving the bulk of that growth with a 12% increase in sales in Q1 while snacks grew at a more modest rate of 1%. Profits of $309 million for the whole business were 86% higher than the $166 million net earnings the company reported in Q1 of last year. Campbell also expects to see its growth continue into the second quarter, projecting that net sales will grow between 5% and 7% while (adjusted) earnings will also rise by as much as 15% .
With no signs of slowing down, Campbell Soup is still a solid dividend stock to own despite the recent bearishness. And it also announced a dividend increase when it released these latest results, boosting its quarterly payouts by 6%. Investors will now receive payments of $0.37 every three months, pushing the yield up to about 3%. Although this is the lowest payout on this list and the dividend increase was the first one the company has made since 2016, with a stronger outlook for the future and a modest payout ratio of 24%, there could be more rate hikes to come.
3. Public Service Enterprise
Energy company Public Service Enterprise is another great dividend stock to own for both its stability and long-term growth. The company has served the people of New Jersey for more than 100 years, providing them with gas and electric power. And now it is focusing on the future and greener energy initiatives, investing $1.9 billion in solar energy development as of its 2020 investor factbook release. On Dec. 4, 2020, it also announced it was acquiring a 25% stake in the state's first offshore wind farm, Ocean Wind.
The company last released its quarterly earnings on Oct. 30, 2020, in which operating revenue of $2.4 billion for the period ended Sept. 30, 2020, was up around 3% from a year ago. And investors can typically count on a lot of that revenue to flow through to the bottom line. Over the past five quarters its net margin has not fallen below 16%.
Public Service Enterprise has paid a dividend for more than 110 years and its yield today is around 3.3%. With strong, stable profits and a focus on cleaner energy, this could be a great investment for a long time, especially as consumers move toward green energy. Year to date, the stock is down a modest 0.3%.