NEW YORK (AP) — Moody's Investors Service said Monday that it expects more companies in the health-care industry to start paying dividends, keeping pace with a trend in the broader market.
Moody's said more health-care and life-science companies have started paying dividends in the last 12 months than over the past five years combined. The firm said investors are placing more value on immediate stable income.
As likely candidates for new dividend payouts, Moody's named clinical-lab-services company Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, life-sciences and medical-research-tools maker Life Technologies Corp., cancer-drug maker Celgene Corp., multiple-sclerosis drug maker Biogen Idec Inc., and medical-device maker CareFusion Corp.
The dividend payout rate among stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 index reached a record level earlier this year after a group of banks raised their dividends. S&P says about three-fourths of the dividend-paying companies on the S&P 500 have raised their dividend payments in the last year.
In Monday trading, CareFusion shares fell 36 cents to $25.50. LabCorp stock fell $1.39 to $85.33, while Celgene shares rose 32 cents to $71.11. Biogen shares picked up 16 cents to $136.87 and Life Technologies shares declined 20 cents to $43.48.