European Dividend Aristocrat Novartis raises 2022 by 3.2% to record CHF 3.20

Novartis logo

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, one of only a handful of real European Dividend Aristocrats, will raise its dividend for the 26th consecutive year in 2023. 

Dividend Aristocrats, with 25 or more consecutive years of dividend growth, are very rare outside the USA, with Europe only counting about twenty stocks, most of them big well known stocks from Switzerland, the UK and France.

One of them is Novartis, the big pharmaceutical company, with now 26 straight years of dividend growth. Today, on February 1, 2023, Novartis reported FY 2022 earnings and announced a record high dividend of CHF 3.20 per share, up 3.2% from the previous dividend of CHF 3.10 per share. The ex-dividend date has not been announced yet, but typically Novartis pays the cash dividend in the first week of March, with the 2022 ex-dividend date being March 8, 2022.

The Novartis Board of Directors proposes a dividend payment of CHF 3.20 per share for 2022, up 3.2% from CHF 3.10 per share in the prior year, representing the 26th consecutive dividend increase since the creation of Novartis in December 1996. Shareholders will vote on this proposal at the Annual General Meeting on March 7, 2023. (source: Novartis press release Feb 1, 2023).

Swiss companies typically pay only one dividend per year. Novartis is one of several Aristocrats in Switzerland, including fellow pharma company Roche, food company Nestlé and chocolate maker Lindt. Dividend growth however is weak for most of these companies, with Novartis only hiking the dividend by 14% in the last five years. The 5 year CAGR for the Novartis dividend is 2.7% with the last double digit dividend hike dating back to FY 2008.

For Novartis a CHF 3.20 per share dividend will yield 3.9% to shareholders at a stock price of CHF 82.46. Novartis stock has not been doing much the last couple of years, with even 2022 being a weak year with a gain of only 4.1% in the year that the pharma sector was outperforming with double digit gains for most stocks. In euro's, Novartis currently pays almost 7 billion in dividends annually, making it one of the biggest dividend payers globally.

Swiss based Novartis AG is a pharmaceutical company. Novartis develops, manufactures, and markets branded and generic prescription drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), biosimilars and ophthalmic products. Novartis' segments are: Innovative Medicines, which includes innovative patent-protected prescription medicines for blood pressure, cancer and other ailments, and Sandoz, which includes generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Novartis was listed in 1996 and has been raising its dividend every year since.

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