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Why Gilead had to play the dividend card

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

After posting yet another quarter of record-breaking profits on 30 April, Gilead Sciences announced that it would disperse $670m or so of those profits to shareholders in June in its first ever dividend payment. That might be an act of commercial maturity, a sign that Gilead is courting investors who are looking for both growth and dividend yield. Or it could be an act of defiance, a message from management to critics of the company's profits, ethics and transparency that Gilead plans to continue to plough its own commercial furrow.

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