Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG)(NASDAQ:SHPG)(NASDAQ:SHPG) is one of the globe's biggest drug companies. It's a major player in ADHD and rare disease, and the company has been rumored as a takeover target by Allergan, and recently AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) announced its third attempt to buy the company. 

Shire's focus to date has remained squarely on growth, rather than dividends; however, the company has a solid track record of double-digit dividend payout increases over the past decade.

Given that Shire has already lost patent protection for its ADHD drug Adderall and will lose patent protection on another important ADHD drug later this year, investors are right to wonder if that dividend streak can continue.

In the following slideshow you'll learn whether I think Shire's dividend is safe and see how Shire's dividend matches up to suitor AbbVie and industry peer Novartis (NYSE:NVS).