Pfizer (PFE) Lifts Quarterly Dividend to 26 Cents

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pfizer (PFE) said Monday it would raise the company's quarterly dividend by 8.3% to 26 cents a share from 24 cents. 

The quarterly dividend is payable on March 4, 2014, to all shareholders as of the close of business on Feb. 7. The ex-dividend date is set for Feb. 5.

Pfizer noted in a press release that the dividend is the 301st consecutive quarterly dividend the drugmaker will pay.

Pfizer's stock is down 0.2% to $30.18 on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Pfizer as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate PFIZER INC (PFE) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.47, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, PFE has a quick ratio of 2.21, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • PFIZER INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PFIZER INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.20 versus $1.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.18 versus $1.20).
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $5,908.00 million or 18.08% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, PFIZER INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 30.09%.

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