Americans voted today amid a resurgent pandemic, with cases growing significantly across the country and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reaching record highs in a growing number of states. In the meantime, it is still unclear what a second stimulus package from the federal government could look like and how long it will take to arrive. To compound this, there are several European governments starting to re-lock their respective countries, given all these uncertainties, what can an investor do to prevent the further spread of COVID? Adding dividend stocks as a potential defensive game can protect your portfolio. We opened the TipRanks database and found three stocks whose profiles justify the risk of entry under today’s conditions. All three offer a dividend yield of at least 5% and are backed by multiple analysts, which is enough to get a “strong buy” consensus rating. Let’s go to the bathroom closer. AbbVie (ABBV) AbbVie is a pharmaceutical company, one of the big names in big pharma. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are known for their combination of high risk and high return potential. The rewards and risks are both contained in Humira, the company’s successful immunosuppressive anti-inflammatory drug. Humira is expected to generate ~ 40% of AbbVie’s pharmaceuticals sales in 2020 – but competition grows with an expired patent. With this in mind, AbbVie acquired another pharmaceutical company, Allergan, which increased AbbVie’s sales by $ 16 billion, while the combined companies generated $ 2 billion in synergies. The acquisition showed investors that AbbVie is also looking beyond its holdings in Humira. Future forecasts have higher sales and higher profits. Revenue forecast has been increased to $ 10.47- $ 10.49 per share versus $ 10.35- $ 10.45 per share. The profit was enough to enable management to increase the dividend from $ 1.18 to $ 1.30. With an annualized dividend of $ 5.20, it works out a dividend of 6.11%, more than 2.5 times the average dividend earned among S&P public companies. The payout ratio of 49.7% indicates the dividend is safe – current earnings are slightly covering it and there is plenty of room for further growth. Analyst Geoff Porges, who covered SVB Leerink, noted, “AbbVie had another strong blow and raise in the third quarter, demonstrating the very resilient business during the pandemic and highlighting the strong growth prospects for its core business. The guidelines were raised again and the company’s comments on the medium to long-term revenue potential of its core products have been very positive […] AbbVie’s valuation looks very attractive at today’s price, and we see significant upside as we anticipate the stock will return to its normalized absolute and relative multiples after the current election blues clear in the New Year. “To this end, Porges AbbVie rates outperformance (i.e. buy) along with a target price of $ 119. This number suggests a potential 35% gain over the next year. (To see Porges’ success story, click here.) Overall, Abbvie Wall Street is very optimistic A total of 8 ratings, 7 buys and 1 hold – all of which result in a strong buy consensus rating.The current price of the stock is USD 88 and the average target price is USD 110.13, which is based on a year-long share Upward movement of 25% indicates (see ABBV stock analysis on TipRanks) WesBanco (WSBC) Next up is WesBanco, a bank in the western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky region with 236 branches. Credit Losses or Their Potential is f Banks and lenders have been forced to start building reserve ratios and earning revenue for credit losses. WesBanco has the last Spent two quarters building its reserve requirements, with a large amount set aside in the second quarter and a smaller amount set aside in the third quarter. In terms of dividend, WSBC is currently paying 32 cents per common share, and has kept that payment constant even during the coronavirus crisis. The 52-cent payment is $ 1.32 per share, making a whopping 5.16% return. Directly facing the bulls, William Wallace, an analyst at Raymond James, notes, “PTPP earnings have been expected to be above expectations, largely driven by lower operating costs and higher fee income. Ultimately, we expect investors to be on credit in the near future where the company’s increased reserve continues to give us some level of convenience. All-in, with stocks trading essentially in line with peers, we’re seeing risk / reward dynamics given the company’s solid capital levels (+ 9% TCE) as well as the promising core earnings and forbearance trends remain positive. “Not surprisingly, Wallace rates WesBanco with an outperform (i.e. buy) target of $ 29. This target suggests a potential 15% increase over the next year. (To see Wallace’s track record, click here.) Wallace isn’t the only WSBC fan on Wall Street as TipRanks Analytics is listing the stock as a strong buy. Based on 4 analysts recorded in the past 3 months, 3 rate the stock as Buy while one says Hold. The 12-month average price target is $ 26.88, an increase of 6.5% from the stock’s current trading level. (See WSBC stock analysis on TipRanks.) CatchMark Timber (CTT) CatchMark Timber owns and operates wooded areas in various parts of the country. The pandemic did not directly affect the timber industry. However, wood itself has maintained higher prices as the demand for builders in the US has increased. Much of this new demand is generated by people moving from cities to suburbs. Last quarter, EBITDA for CatchMark Timber for the third quarter of 2020 was $ 12.4 million, above expectations, compared to $ 11 million by consensus. The result, which exceeded expectations, was attributed to cost controls from logging and transport as well as VVG costs. At the same time that CatchMark reported its first quarter earnings, it also declared the dividend for the third quarter. The payment stays constant at 13.5 cents per share, which adds up to a solid 6%. The company has a 6-year tradition of maintaining its dividend payments under all economic conditions. On top of the good news, RBC Capital analyst Paul Quinn, who was rated 5-star TipRanks, has upgraded CTT to Outperform (i.e. Buy) keeping his price target at $ 10. (To see the analyst track record, click here.) Quinn stated, “CatchMark reported third quarter results that were in line with our projections but were above consensus expectations. While the business outlook has changed little over the past few months, CatchMark stocks have moved widely around our price target of $ 10. Now that the share price has retreated to an attractive level and the future prospects are still solid, we are raising our rating. “Overall, the consensus of analysts at CTT for a strong buy is derived from 3” buy “and 1” hold “ratings. The share price is USD 8.91. The average target price of USD 10.88 indicates a growth potential of 22% (See CTT stock analysis on TipRanks.) To find great ideas for trading dividend stocks at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks ‘Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that brings together all of TipRanks’ Equity Insights. The opinions expressed in this article are only those of the analysts featured. The content is provided for informational purposes only, and it is very important that you do your own research before making any investment.