Best Pharmaceutical Stocks that Pay Dividends

Best Pharmaceutical Stocks that Pay Dividends


If the past year (2020) has taught us anything, it’s that the world constantly needs reliable and efficient vaccines and medication. Whether it’s the Covid-19 pandemic or existing illnesses that plague human life, everyone wants access to the right treatment. So, pharma companies that develop and administer these treatments need to keep growing. As a practical investor, your attention is probably on pharmaceutical stocks that pay dividends.

Today, we’ll take you through valuable insights on some of the best pharmaceutical stocks that pay dividends. But before we really dive into the list, let’s understand some of the basics first.

What are Pharmaceutical stocks that pay dividends?

Pharmaceutical stocks that pay dividends are those companies who offer a regular payout to its shareholders from the profit it earns.

Having a dividend policy usually implies that the company is confident in the growth of its earnings. So, pharmaceuticals who have a proven track record in regular dividends are usually the ones that are doing well in the industry.

However, you should not finalize your investments merely on dividend yields alone. There are other considerations you have to make.

Fortunately for you, we’ve made all the comparisons and research on the best alternatives for 2021 and beyond. Today, we’re happy to share with you this list of the most prospective, dividend-paying pharma stocks. Let’s get into it!

Top Picks for Pharmaceuticals that pay dividends

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

GlaxoSmithKline, or GSK, is one of the leading companies that deal with healthcare. Their global businesses come under three categories – pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and consumer health products. By revenue alone, GSK is the largest company in the world that deals with vaccines. That itself is reason enough for many investors to grab stocks from GSK. But let’s look at the company and its figures in a bit more detail.

The last closing for GSK stocks was at $37.69. With over 2.5 billion outstanding shares and a market cap of $92.6 billion, GSK is definitely among the top players. But for those seeking dividends, GSK’s dividend yield of 5.3% takes the cake. It’s high enough to bring in sizeable profits without the risk of excessively high yields.

GSK recorded over $44 billion in sales during its report for the financial year 2020. Almost half of these sales were in pharmaceuticals. And the other half was split between vaccines and consumer healthcare. Out of this, their total operating profit measured over $8 billion. That explains how their dividend yields stay consistently high.

GSK is already in collaboration with major partners in developing a Covid-19 vaccine. Once that’s ready, the vaccine share in sales will surely go up. So, you can expect GSK to bag a bigger turnover for 2021 and more net profits.

Their adjuvant technology (enhanced immunity) promises to take the vaccine race to the next level. If successful, GSK’s position in the market is going to grow even more. So, it’s definitely a contender if you’re looking for reliable pharmaceutical companies that pay dividends.


If you’re even vaguely aware of the Covid-19 vaccine development, then Pfizer is not a new name for you. The company rose to prominence thanks to its Covid-19 vaccine that was among the first to roll out. And the vaccine’s application is not just in the US. Made with German biotech company, BioNTech, Pfizer’s vaccine is being administered to people from all over the world today.

However, it’s not the only vaccine or medication that’s netting profits for Pfizer. The company earned about $5.8 billion in revenue thanks to a range of vaccines and medications that aid in treating pneumonia, cancer, arthritis, and even prevent strokes. It’s probably from this kind of profit that Pfizer is able to maintain a dividend yield of almost 4%.

The last closing for Pfizer stocks was tagged at $38.83. Pfizer’s market cap of $222 billion is also set to grow more if the current trends continue. At 4.04%, their dividend yield amounts to about $1.56, which is higher than most other similar companies.

Pfizer believes that its Covid-19 vaccine has an efficacy rate of 95%. It was one of the first vaccines to be fast-tracked for approval in both the UK and the US. Today, it’s being administered all over the world (except China). Given these trends, we can surely consider it among the top pharmaceutical companies that pay dividends.


AstraZeneca is a Swedish-British Biotechnology company that deals with pharmaceuticals. In the past, the company was known for its products that deal with cardiovascular, oncology, infection, respiratory, and neuroscience. But today, it’s probably best known for its contribution in developing the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The company has consistently shelled out dividend amounts of $2.80 for the past five years or so. So, you can expect past investors to be pretty satisfied with how the company is developing.

The dividend yield percentage looks like it’s decreasing. With a yield percentage of 4.50% in 2016, it was 2.70% for 2020. But this decrease in percentage is because of its increase in worth and revenue. AstraZeneca’s market cap has grown to a formidable $142.94 billion.

Since 2012, AstraZeneca has enjoyed over $25 billion in total revenue every year. So, it’s regularly featured as one of the top 15 pharma companies across the world. Their 2020 revenue alone was $26 billion. For 2021, their vaccine sales alone have netted them about $375 million in sales so far.

With the pandemic still continuing to lay hold on the world, vaccine suppliers like AstraZeneca will only grow from here. With further R&D, they stand likely to be the most prominent pharmaceutical stock that pays dividends.

Johnson and Johnson

Johnson and Johnson is widely regarded as the largest healthcare company in the world. They’re also believed to possess the widest range of health products for people of all ages. As a pharmaceutical brand, their position in the market is one of experience and great rapport.

J and J’s stocks closed at around $165.2. But this stock price is even more spectacular if you consider their market cap, which stands at $434 billion. Thanks to these numbers, J and J continue to be among the most sought-after pharmaceutical stocks that pay dividends.

In 2020, the company earned revenues of over $86 billion in sales. This revenue was distributed over health products, pharmaceutical segments, and medical devices. This number is an increase of about 0.6% from their 2019 figures. Their revenues will only grow in 2021, thanks to the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. It’s the first one-shot vaccine that was developed and is being widely used today.

The company has an order of 500 million doses today. At the standard $10 per vaccine, it stands to earn $5 billion in a single year from this vaccine alone. So, its position in the market is also stable and looks good for the future.

J and J also have the distinction of paying one of the highest dividend yields in the industry. Their yields stand at 2.48%, which amounts to about $4.24 on a yearly basis.

So, all things taken into account, J and J is surely one of the go-to stocks as far as pharmaceuticals go.


AbbVie is widely known among pharma investors as one of the best dividend-paying stocks. Although this biopharmaceutical company is still young, its parent company, Abbott Labs, has been around since the late 1800s.

Given this long history, AbbVie enjoys the reputation of delivering dividend increases for the last 49 consecutive years. Their current dividend yield stands at about 4.66%, which translates to about $5.2 annually. That’s easily one of the highest paying dividends among pharmaceutical stocks.

AbbVie’s stocks closed at $114.68, and it has consistently maintained this figure for the longest time now. Their market cap rests at $202 billion right now, which is an imposing figure by any standards.

AbbVie’s turnovers have been gradually increasing. For instance, their total revenue was about $28 million in 2017. The company experienced mild growths in 2018-19, taking the revenue figure to $33 million. However, this growth saw a sharp increase in 2020 when it rose to over $45 million.

AS far as market prospects go, AbbVie is here to stay. It may not have a Covid-19 vaccine just yet. But it sure has a series of medicines and treatments that will ensure its growth for years to come.


Sanofi is another pharmaceutical company that gives its investors reliable and regular payouts. Based in France, this multinational pharma company does R&D, development, marketing, and administering of a wide range of drugs and medication. Although its Covid-19 vaccine hasn’t taken off as well as the other names on this list, Sanofi’s other therapeutical products promise to keep it going.

Sanofi is a unique addition to this list because it’s not your conventionally impressive company.

It has a modest market cap of $129 billion, and stock prices currently sit at about $50.89. However, what makes it stand out is the alluring 3.75% yield in dividends. Ever since 2007, Sanofi’s dividend yields have seen a gradual but clear increase till today.

The French company has also seen steady growth in revenue since 2006. From a humble $31 billion revenue, it has now reached over $43 billion in 2020. This steady growth is one of the top reasons why it can shell out dividends over 3% regularly.

More than 89% of its stocks are publicly traded. That makes Sanafi an excellent choice for low-risk investors. Of course, there are no 100% guarantees when it comes to stocks of any kind. But Sanofi manages to come pretty close to being a reliable source of dividends.

The first quarter of 2021 saw Sanofi grow by an additional 2.4%. With a growing client base in both Europe and the US, Sanofi will see more revenue in the coming years. Given this healthy trajectory, you can expect more good things in the future if you already own stocks at Sanofi.


Amgen is the last entry in our list of top pharmaceutical stocks that pay dividends. If the dividend yield percentage is anything to go by, Amgen is surely up there with the best. If you’ve heard of the arthritis medicine Enbrel, you have Amgen to thank for it.

With a yield of 2.67%, you’re assured of a steady income flow when you own a share in this company.

Amgen boasts of a wide range of medical applications in its products. These areas range from chemotherapy and cholesterol to neuroscience and bone health. This diversity of applications is a reason why the company manages to churn out great numbers every year.

The company’s revenues have grown to twice the size since 2004. Their sales numbers for 2020 alone stand at $25.4 billion. That’s also an increase from the $23 billion they sold in 2019. This growing trend is already taking their numbers higher in 2021. Amgen doesn’t have the market presence of giants like J and J or AstraZeneca. But their loyal payouts for shareholders make them a worthy addition to this list.

Amgen’s market cap is currently at $140 billion, and the stock last closed at $245. These numbers are good enough to help them maintain a growth trajectory for the near future. Amgen does not have a dedicated Covid-19 vaccine. But they’re very actively contributing immunology and antibody expertise in vaccine research. So, their continued participation in the industry is well on the way.


Pharmaceutical stocks that pay dividends are all the rage since the vaccine race started in 2020. However, each company brings something different to the table. As a wise investor, you need to make distinctions that allow you to choose what’s best for your financial plan.

This comprehensive list is intended to inform and assist you in making that choice. Although it’s not an exhaustive or guaranteed list, it will go a long way in helping you differentiate the best ones from the mediocre options.

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