When dividend stocks go on sale, it can be an opportunity for investors to lock in a higher-than-normal yield. The dividend yield, of course is a function of both quarterly payments and the share price; when the latter falls, the yield goes up.
A couple of already high-yielding stocks that are paying more than the S&P 500 average of 1.3% and have fallen near their 52-week lows are Gilead Sciences (GILD 1.06%) and 3M (MMM 0.38%). Here's why despite recent investor bearishness, these could be solid additions to your portfolios today.
1. Gilead Sciences
Drugmaker Gilead Sciences is trading at around $63 a share and has been inching closer to its 52-week low of $61.39. The stock nosedived after the company released its latest quarterly results on Feb. 1. Gilead's performance for the past three months of 2021 was underwhelming with the company's sales of $7.2 billion declining 2.4% from the same period a year ago. Net income of $376 million was also just a fraction of the $1.5 billion that it reported a year earlier; the healthcare company says the decline was largely due to a legal settlement of $625 million involving Arcus Biosciences.
For 2022, Gilead projects that its sales will come in between $23.8 billion and $24.3 billion; at the midpoint of $24 billion, that would be a decline of 12% from the $27.3 billion it recorded in 2021. The company expects diluted earnings per share (EPS) to be between $4.70 and $5.20 for the year, so it could still potentially come in better than the $4.93-per-share profit it reported this past year.
Even if there is a decline in profitability, those numbers will still be strong enough to support the company's dividend, which currently pays shareholders $2.92 per share a year. At the low point of its EPS estimate, Gilead's payout ratio would still be fairly modest at 62%; that would leave plenty of room for the company not only to support but also to grow its already high dividend, which currently yields 4.6%.
Although Gilead is facing some challenges, particularly from losses in exclusivity for some of its key products, the company is working on building out its pipeline. In oncology alone, there are over 30 clinical trials currently taking place.
Gilead remains in solid shape despite some risks, and investors are compensated for it as the stock trades at a lower forward price-to-earnings multiple than other drugmakers:
Multinational conglomerate 3M hit a new 52-week low this week as it also fell out of favor with investors. The company, which makes healthcare masks and respirators, was a popular investment during the pandemic's early stages. And as COVID-19 case numbers began to subside last year and hopes about a return to normal rose, interest in the stock began to wane.
The company released fourth-quarter numbers on Jan. 25, reporting sales of $8.6 billion for the period ended Dec. 31, 2021. That was flat from the prior year. Meanwhile, net income declined by 4.7% to $1.3 billion. By contrast, sales rose 5.8% in 2020's fourth quarter. That was largely due to an increase in safety and industrial revenue (including personal hygiene products and masks). This time around, however, that segment of its business fell 2% to about $3.1 billion.
Other business units (healthcare, transportation and electronics) are smaller and also showed little or no growth. The lone exception and growth catalyst in Q4 was its consumer business (e.g. bandages, cleaning, and stationery products) which rose by 4% and helped keep the quarter's sales just slightly above the prior-year numbers. All this diversification makes the business resilient -- and as a whole, 3M continues to do well. For all of 2021, net sales rose 10% year over year to $35.4 billion.
For income investors, the company's payouts look more than safe even if the growth rate starts to falter. 3M is a Dividend King thanks to increasing its dividend payments for more than 60 years in a row. And there's little doubt that streak will continue; it paid out $5.92 per share in dividends for 2021. With an EPS of $10.12, that puts its payout ratio at just 58%. So there's plenty of room for the company to continue making and increasing payouts.
3M shares haven't been this low since the fall of 2020, and the stock's yield is currently at 3.7%. Now could be a great time to add this investment to your portfolio.