Investors like their dividends. Having a company pay you out a predictable income stream can do a lot to help short- and long-term returns alike. Not all dividends are created equal, though, as a high dividend yield might signal a company in distress, meaning that high yield might not last much longer.

Still, there are a few attractive high-yield dividend stocks in today's market, two of them being AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) and Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY). Boasting yields 2 to 4 times the yield of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF, which yields just 1.34% as of this writing, these stocks return a lot more income to their shareholders than does the broader market.

Here's why you might consider picking these high-yield, high-quality dividend stocks for your portfolio. 

A couple developing a financial plan

Image source: Getty Images.

1. AbbVie

Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie is one of the largest companies in the sector by market capitalization, coming in at just over $205 billion. Since its spinoff from parent company Abbott Laboratories, the company has returned more than 250% in gains to investors, excluding dividends. 

Part of this growth has come from rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira, which has been the best-selling drug worldwide over the past few years. Some investors are concerned that Humira is going off-patent in the United States in 2023, but this has already happened in other markets, such as Europe, and the company has invested heavily in developing new products to diversify its revenue streams in response. Those products include Skyrizi, Rinvoq, Imbruvica, and Venxleta, for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lymphoma, and leukemia, respectively. Skyrizi and Rinvoq carry a lot of promise and the early returns bear that out, as the company was able to grow Skyrizi's year-over-year sales by 91% and Rinvoq's 600%.

The growth of AbbVie's dividend is what makes it an attractive high-yield pick in today's market. AbbVie currently yields 4.28% and has averaged an 18.89% dividend growth rate over the past five years. So not only are you getting a great yield right now, but based on AbbVie's consistent history of dividend increases, this yield is likely to grow into the future.

2. Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb has been growing at a tremendous rate in recent years. The company boasts a five-year revenue growth rate of almost 20% and saw a 40% year-over-year increase. Part of that growth came from the acquisition of two major companies in Celgene and MyoKardia, bringing in a whole new set of drugs to bolster the company's pipeline alongisde its existing products. 

Bristol Myers Squibb currently offers a 2.82% yield, but the real attraction here is dividend growth. The company recently grew its dividend to $2.29 this past year, a 9.3% increase from 2019.I believe this will be the beginning of a set of high dividend increases for shareholders , given that management promised in the recent Q1 earnings report to accelerate debt repayments and continue growing its payout. .

Dividend investors tend to look for stability in their investments, Bristol Myers Squibb fits that bill. Paying an uninterrupted stream of dividends since 1989, this is clearly a dividend stock that investors might want to take a look at adding to their portfolio in 2021.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.