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Should income investors buy Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) shares?

healthcare asx share price rise represented by happy doctor
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Based on comments out of the Reserve Bank of Australia this week, interest rates look likely to remain at ultra low levels for some time to come.

In light of this, if you’re looking to earn a passive income, then dividend shares might be the answer.

But which dividend shares should you buy? One quality option to consider is listed below:

Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL)

Sonic Healthcare is one of the world’s leading providers of medical diagnostics. Over the years, it has earned itself a reputation for excellence in laboratory medicine, pathology, diagnostic imaging, radiology, and primary care medical services across operations in Australasia, Europe, and North America.

This excellence has been on display for all to see over the last 12 months, with Sonic playing a big role in COVID-19 testing globally.

Positively, this and a solid performance across the rest of the business, has led to the company delivering stellar earnings growth so far in FY 2021. During the first half, Sonic reported a 33% increase in revenue to $4.4 billion and a 166% increase in first half net profit to $678 million.

Analysts at Credit Suisse have been impressed with its performance. So much so, they have recently retained their buy rating and $40.00 price target on its shares. The broker is also forecasting dividends of 93 cents per share in FY 2021 and 97 cents per share in FY 2022.

Based on the latest Sonic share price of $36.31, this will mean dividend yields of 2.6% and 2.7%, respectively, over the next two years.

In addition to this, the broker’s price target of $40.00 implies potential upside of just over 10% over the next 12 months. This stretches its total potential return to just under 13%.

Overall, this could make Sonic Healthcare a dividend share to consider buying this month.

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Returns As of 15th February 2021

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sonic Healthcare Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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