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One way to gauge a company’s profitability is by comparing its profit margins to industry averages – companies with higher margins are taking a greater percentage of revenues as profits and have greater control over their cost structure.

We ran a screen on dividend stocks from the healthcare sector for those with high profitability, beating their industry averages on gross, operating, and pretax margins.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Do you think these companies are performing well? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by dividend yield.

1. Aetna Inc. (AET): Operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. Market cap of $15.39B. Dividend yield at 1.45%, payout ratio at 7.08%. TTM gross margin at 28.86% vs. industry gross margin at 21.04%. TTM operating margin at 9.19% vs. industry operating margin at 8.53%. TTM pretax margin at 8.28% vs. industry pretax margin at 7.02%. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.76, and P/FCF ratio at 12.1. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.33% over the last week.

2. Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGAA (FMS): Provides products and services for patients with chronic kidney diseases. Market cap of $21.62B. Dividend yield at 1.31%, payout ratio at 25.68%. TTM gross margin at 38.99% vs. industry gross margin at 21.09%. TTM operating margin at 15.82% vs. industry operating margin at 8.44%. TTM pretax margin at 13.62% vs. industry pretax margin at 6.94%. The stock has gained 23.4% over the last year.

3. Unitedhealth Group, Inc. (UNH): Provides healthcare services in the United States. Market cap of $54.39B. Dividend yield at 1.29%, payout ratio at 11.84%. TTM gross margin at 24.76% vs. industry gross margin at 21.09%. TTM operating margin at 8.61% vs. industry operating margin at 8.44%. TTM pretax margin at 7.92% vs. industry pretax margin at 6.94%. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.08% over the last week.

4. Chemed Corp. (CHE): Provides hospice care, and repair and cleaning services in the United States. Market cap of $1.24B. Dividend yield at 1.11%, payout ratio at 14.76%. TTM gross margin at 28.50% vs. industry gross margin at 21.04%. TTM operating margin at 11.07% vs. industry operating margin at 8.53%. TTM pretax margin at 10.13% vs. industry pretax margin at 7.02%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.41% (equivalent to 6.81 days of average volume). The stock has gained 7.33% over the last year.

*Profitability data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 4 Healthcare Dividend Stocks With Impressive Profitability