Two Evergreen Dividend Stocks to Invest In

Dividends can provide a regular income for shareholders if the corporation maintains or increases them over time. Unfortunately, not all dividend payers can. When economic or company problems occur, many suspend or reduce payouts. Fortunately, dividend stocks can deliver stable and growing capital to owners over time. Consider two instances: Johnson & Johnson and Merck.  

1. Johnson & Johnson Johnson & Johnson has many characteristics that attract long-term investors. One of the world's largest pharmaceutical businesses, it has developed new treatments for decades. Since Johnson & Johnson was founded, the regulatory landscape has altered, market collapses, recessions, and pandemics have occurred. Johnson & Johnson's ability to provide good results despite such speaks volumes. Still going strong.  

The healthcare firm sold its consumer health segment in 2023 to focus on drug and device development. Johnson & Johnson's sales rose 6.5% to $85.2 billion last year, then 5.9% excluding acquisitions and divestitures. Johnson & Johnson's adjusted EPS rose 11% to $9.92.  

A pharmaceutical giant's results are good. Indeed, Johnson & Johnson faces headwinds. Medicare's ability to negotiate prescription pricing will likely reduce sales of some products, including Johnson & Johnson's. A wide pipeline of 90 programs in various stages of development should help the corporation offset losses.  

Johnson & Johnson's resources should allow it to redirect its drug development approach away from Medicare price disputes. So, no worries. Johnson & Johnson is a great long-term investment.  

As a Dividend King in its 61st year of payout growth, the stock's 3% dividend yield exceeds the S&P 500's 1.5%. Income-seeking investors can find what they desire with this stock because the company is unlikely to suspend or reduce payouts.  

2. Merck Keytruda has been Merck's growth driver for years. The cancer drug will lose patent exclusivity in 2028, but revenues should continue to rise. Merck has been planning for that. When it received FDA approval for Winrevair, a therapy for individuals with uncommon and potentially fatal pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), it made progress.  

Winrevair is expected to surpass blockbuster status ($1 billion in annual revenue), but it won't match Keytruda's multibillion-dollar empire. Merck is slowly revamping its range. Efinopegdutide is a potential NASH therapy developed by the business. The first NASH therapy drug was approved by the FDA this year.  

It is expected to increase dramatically in the next years. Efinopegdutide outperformed semaglutide, the active ingredient of Ozempic, a diabetes drug being developed to treat NASH, in a phase 2 study. Merck's innovation is evident in recent breakthroughs, but much work remains.  

Besides coronavirus sales, the company's finances have been solid. Merck's top line rose 1% to $60 billion last year. The drugmaker's coronavirus medication excluded, sales rose 9% from 2022. For years, Merck has had strong financial success and withstood patent cliffs. It should pass Keytruda's. Merck isn't a Dividend King, but it boasts a 2.4% yield and has boosted its distributions by 40% in five years. Long-term investors should buy Merck for its defensive income.  

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