St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ) shares are slightly lower today, falling 26 cents to $47.75 after the medical device maker disclosed plans to begin paying a quarterly dividend to shareholders.
The move has the St. Paul, Minn.-based medical device maker joining a gaggle of healthcare firms to initiate or expand payments in recent weeks.
Citing confidence in its growth prospects and financial position, St. Jude said it will pay a 21-cent-per-share dividend at the end of April to shareholders of record as of March 31. The annualized 84 cent outlay represents a 1.75 percent yield, based on STJ’s Feb. 25 closing price.
Health insurer Wellpoint (NYSE:WLP) last week announced it would begin paying a dividend, following similar moves by UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) and Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) in recent days. St. Jude’s Twin Cities peer, Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) and Stryker (NYSE:SYK) likewise raised their dividend payments recently.