$16 billion medical supply firm Becton Dickinson (BDX - Get Report), one of the highest-yielding health services stocks, hiked its dividend by 9.76% last week, bringing its quarterly payout to 45 cents per share. The firm develops, complex high-margin medical equipment, including oncology and pathology diagnostic devices, but the its bread and butter is in basic surgical instruments such as needles, syringes and scalpels.
The firm's exposure to staid (even boring) surgical instruments has given Becton some protection from economic conditions in the past, something that can't be said for peers who only develop high-tech, hit-or-miss medical devices. Double-digit margins and ample balance sheet liquidity should keep this firm returning value to shareholders in the form of cash dividends.To see these dividend plays in action, check out the Dividend Stocks for the Week portfolio on Stockpickr. And if you haven't already done so, join Stockpickr today to create your own dividend portfolio. -- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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