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National Healthcare Corp. (NHC) Passes Through 3% Yield Mark

By Dividend Channel Staff, Thursday, August 4, 3:22 PM ET
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In trading on Thursday, shares of National Healthcare Corp. (AMEX:NHC) were yielding above the 3% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $1.20), with the stock changing hands as low as $38.67 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the iShares Russell 3000 ETF (IWV) back on 5/31/2000 you would have paid $78.27 per share. Fast forward to 5/31/2011 and each share was worth $80.78 on that date, a mere $2.51 or 3.2% increase over eleven years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $9.69 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 20.27%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.7%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 3% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. National Healthcare Corp. (AMEX:NHC) is a member of the Russell 3000, giving it special status as one of the largest 3000 companies on the U.S. stock markets.

In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of National Healthcare Corp., looking at the history chart for NHC below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 3% annual yield.

NHC Dividend History
Date Div*
06/28/11 0.300
03/29/11 0.280
12/29/10 0.280
09/28/10 0.280
06/28/10 0.280
03/29/10 0.260
12/29/09 0.260
09/28/09 0.260
06/26/09 0.260
03/27/09 0.240
12/29/08 0.240
09/26/08 0.240
06/26/08 0.240
03/27/08 0.210
12/27/07 0.210
09/26/07 0.210
06/27/07 0.210
03/28/07 0.180
12/27/06 0.180
09/27/06 0.180
06/28/06 0.180
03/29/06 0.150
12/28/05 0.150
09/28/05 0.150
06/28/05 0.150
03/29/05 0.125
12/29/04 0.125
09/28/04 0.125
06/28/04 0.125
04/28/04 0.125
01/05/98 17.000
11/26/97 0.600
09/26/97 0.600
06/26/97 0.600
03/26/97 0.600
12/27/96 0.600
09/26/96 0.520
06/26/96 0.520
03/27/96 0.520
12/27/95 0.520
09/27/95 0.520
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, NHC makes up 1.29% of the Dynamic Healthcare Sector Portfolio ETF (AMEX:PTH) which is trading relatively unchanged on the day Thursday.

See what other ETFs contain NHC
See what other stocks are held by PTH

NHC operates in the Hospital & Medical Practitioners sector, among companies like HealthSouth Corp. (NYSE:HLS) which is off about 4% today, and Community Health Systems, Inc. (NYSE:CYH) trading lower by about 5.2%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of NHC, versus HLS and CYH.

NHC,HLS,CYH Relative Performance Chart


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