Do you have $5,000 you can afford to invest, but don’t want to take on a ton of risk? Do you want to put that money into a decent growth investment that also pays dividends? Although that may seem like a lot of criteria for one stock to meet, there are a couple of solid blue chips that offer all of them.
Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are robust businesses that are highly profitable and likely to grow. And although their yields aren’t high, they have been boosting their dividend payments.
1. Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific is a large healthcare company that is involved with life sciences and diagnostics, making laboratory products and analytical instruments. And it continues to get bigger, in part through mergers and acquisitions. It has been involved in more than 60 of them. One of the largest buys was its $17.4 billion purchase of PPD, which provides clinical research services to biotech companies, in 2021.
Thermo Fisher’s aggressive growth strategy has paid off well for investors. A $5,000 investment into the stock five years ago would be worth more than $13,400 today when including its dividend.
The business’ strong financials enable it to continue pursuing more acquisitions. In 2022, its net income came in at just under $7 billion, giving it a solid profit margin of 16%. Its revenue rose at a rate of 15 to $44.9 billion, while its free cash flow was also strong at $6.9 billion — making 2022 the third consecutive year where it was at least $6.7 billion.
Thermo Fisher is a strong, low-volatility stock that investors can count on for continued growth over the long haul. It can also be a reliable source of recurring revenue. While its yield of 0.2% isn’t high, if the company ever runs out of growth opportunities, it may end up boosting its dividend as its payout ratio is incredibly low at just 7% of earnings. And that’s after the company doubled its dividend in just five years.
For long-term investors, Thermo Fisher looks like a great stock to invest $5,000 into today, as there are many ways it can pay off.
Apple has been an even better investment than Thermo Fisher over the past five years. During that time frame, a $5,000 investment into the iPhone maker would have more than tripled in value to roughly $18,500 when including its dividend.
The company is a Warren Buffett favorite, and one that the billionaire investor has referred to in the past as “probably the best business I know in the world.” Apple’s strong brand makes it a relatively resilient company to invest in. Although its sales for the last three months of 2022 were down 5% year over year to $117.2 billion, that’s still a strong performance given the current macroeconomic environment.
The more important takeaway, I’d argue, is that revenue from the company’s service business (which includes AppleCare, cloud services, and digital content) hit an all-time high of $20.8 billion. Services now account for nearly 18% of revenue compared to less than 16% a year ago. By diversifying, Apple’s business becomes less dependent on expensive phones and other products.
The company also generated $34 billion in operating cash flow during the period, showing that this continues to be a cash-rich business. Apple doesn’t pay a huge dividend — it yields just 0.6% at the current share price — but it has raised its payout by 46% in the last five years. And its payout ratio is incredibly low at 15%, so there is plenty of room for Apple to further hike its dividend should it choose to do so.
Whether you want a growing dividend or just a strong, stable business to invest in, Apple is a stock worth considering.
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David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple and Thermo Fisher Scientific. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.