After a difficult start to October, the major benchmarks ended Thursday with a three-game winning streak, sparked by optimism surrounding the recent announcement by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that lawmakers have reached an agreement to raise the ceiling on short-term debt to avoid a government default. However, given the uncertainties surrounding the infrastructure bill, potential monetary policy changes and supply chain constraints, October is expected to be a volatile month.
Since dividend paying stocks can reduce overall portfolio risk by ensuring a stable income stream, especially when markets are volatile, they can be ideal bets now. Investor confidence in Dividend Aristocrats is evident from the 22.8% return of the First Trust S&P International Dividend Aristocrats (FID) ETF over the past year.
So the fundamentally healthy dividend aristocrats Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA), West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST) and WW Grainger, Inc. (GWW), which have recently seen price cuts, could be betting solid now. The strong growth attributes and attractive dividend yields of these companies could help investors avoid expected market volatility.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA)
WBA is a global retail pharmacy that operates through three segments Retail Pharmacy USA; International retail pharmacy; and the wholesale of pharmaceutical products. The company’s segments include the Walgreen Co. (Walgreens) business; retail pharmacies; care clinics; retail trade in health and beauty products; and optical practices.
WBA paid a quarterly dividend of $ 0.48 on September 10, 2021. The stock distributes an annual dividend of $ 1.91 per share, which translates into a yield of 3.99%. The company’s dividend has increased by 5.3% over the past five years.
Last month, WBA announced a $ 970 million investment in a healthcare specialty pharmacy, Shields Health Solutions, through its subsidiary Walgreen Co. The company believes this strategic investment can help expand its pharmaceutical business. and its reach in health care in communities.
WBA sales increased 12.1% year-on-year to $ 34.03 billion for the third quarter of the fiscal year ended May 31, 2021. The company’s gross profit increased 20% from the previous year to reach $ 7.15 billion. Its operating profit was $ 1.13 billion for the quarter, compared to an operating loss of $ 1.68 billion in the previous year quarter. In addition, the company’s net income was $ 1.17 billion, compared to a net loss of $ 1.73 billion in the fiscal third quarter of 2020.
Analysts expect WBA’s revenue for fiscal 2022 to be $ 136.23 billion, up 3.6% year-over-year. The company has an impressive history of profit surprises; it has beaten consensus EPS estimates in three of the past four quarters. In addition, its EPS is expected to grow by 11.2% in the current year. Its share price has risen 31.1% in the past year. Additionally, it is currently trading 16.1% below its 52-week high of $ 57.05, which it reached on April 5, 2021.
WBA’s strong fundamentals are reflected in its POWR ratings. The stock has an overall rating of B, which is equivalent to a buy rating in our proprietary rating system. POWR ratings assess stocks based on 118 different factors, each with its own weight.
Additionally, the stock has a B rating for value, stability, and growth. We also rated WBA for sentiment, momentum, and quality. Click here to access all of the WBA Notes. WBA is ranked n ° 2 out of 6 stocks in the Medical – Pharmacies sector.
Click here to view our health sector report for 2021
Western Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST)
WST provides state-of-the-art containment and delivery solutions for injectable drugs and health products to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, generics and medical device companies. The company operates through the following segments: Exclusive products; and products manufactured under contract. Its products include primary packaging, reconstitution, drug delivery systems, contract manufacturing, analytical laboratory services and integrated solutions.
WST paid a quarterly dividend of $ 0.17 on August 4, 2021. The stock distributes a dividend of $ 0.68 per share annually, resulting in a return of 0.16%. The company’s dividend has increased by 7.2% over the past five years.
In August, WST appointed Molly Joseph to the company’s board of directors. The company believes that Ms. Joseph’s experience in building and leading clinically integrated healthcare delivery and health insurance systems should help the company deliver healthcare to millions of patients every day. .
During the second quarter ended June 30, 2021, WST’s net sales increased 37.3% year-on-year to $ 723.6 million. The company’s gross profit increased 61.5% from a year ago to $ 315.1 million. Its operating profit increased 104% from the previous year quarter to $ 211.3 million. In addition, the company’s net profit increased 105.4% year-on-year to $ 187.3 million.
WST’s revenue is expected to grow 30.4% year-on-year to $ 2.8 billion in fiscal 2021. The company has an impressive track record of surprising earnings; it has beaten consensus EPS estimates in each of the past four quarters. In addition, its EPS is expected to increase by 72.5% in the current year. Additionally, the stock has gained 37.4% in the past nine months and 42.7% in the past year. Additionally, it is currently trading 12.1% below its 52-week high of $ 475.35, which it hit on September 8, 2021.
WST’s POWR ratings reflect this promising outlook. The stock has an overall rating of B, which is equivalent to a buy rating in our proprietary rating system. Additionally, the stock has an A rating for sentiment and a B rating for growth.
In addition to the POWR ratings I just outlined, the WST ratings for value, stability, dynamics and quality can be seen here. The share is ranked 28th out of 177 shares in the Medical – Devices and equipment sector.
WW Grainger, Inc. (GWW)
Incorporated in 1927, GWW is a distributor of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products and services with operations primarily in the United States, Canada and internationally. The company provides material handling equipment, safety supplies, power and hand tools, and metalworking tools. High-Touch Solutions North America (NA); and Endless Assortment are the business sectors through which the company operates.
GWW paid a quarterly dividend of $ 1.62 on September 1, 2021. The stock distributes a dividend of $ 6.48 per share each year, which translates into a return of 1.56%. The company’s dividend has increased 5.7% over the past five years.
GWW’s net sales increased 13% year-over-year to $ 3.21 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021. The company’s gross profit increased 10.6% from the value of last year to reach $ 1.12 billion. Its operating profit increased 62.9% from the previous year quarter to $ 334 million. In addition, the company’s net profit increased 88.4% year-on-year to $ 243 million.
GWW’s revenue for fiscal 2021 is expected to be $ 12.84 billion, an 8.8% year-over-year growth. Its EPS is expected to increase at a rate of 18.3% during the current year. The GWW share price has jumped 10.6% in the past year. Additionally, it is currently trading 13.3% below its 52-week high of $ 422.55, which it reached on April 27, 2021.
It’s no surprise that GWW has an overall rating of B, which equates to a buy rating in our POWR rating system. Additionally, the stock has an A rating for quality and a B for stability and momentum.
Click here to see additional notes for GWW (Growth, Value and Sentiment). GWW is ranked # 36 out of 92 stocks in the B rated industrial equipment industry.
Click here to view our industrial sector report for 2021
WBA shares were trading at $ 47.59 per share on Friday morning, down $ 0.26 (-0.54%). Year-to-date, WBA has gained 22.70%, compared to an 18.44% increase in the benchmark S&P 500 over the same period.
About the Author: Priyanka Mandal
Priyanka is an avid investment analyst and financial journalist. After earning a master’s degree in economics, her interest in financial markets motivated her to embark on her career in investment research. Following…