Best Dividend Stocks

The Best Dividend Stocks to Watch

The following “Best Dividend Stocks” list features Income Investors’ favorite dividend ideas, thoroughly vetted and highly rated by our research team.

The stocks below have been hand-picked by our editors. Our five-point investment criteria identifies companies with safe payouts, growing earnings, and a long-term track record. The list is geared toward conservative buy-and-hold investors looking to put new money to work right now.

To be clear, every stock on this list is not appropriate for all investors. Our best dividend stocks list does not represent a complete portfolio. We recommend readers do their own research and consult a professional financial adviser before making any investment decision.

What We Look For

Timeless Business: We look for businesses that have stood the test of time. In some cases, the products that they make have remained almost unchanged for decades. Many of these stocks have been paying out dividends to shareholders for over 100 years.

Competitive Advantage: We look for companies with sustainable advantages. They have patents, powerful brands, irreplaceable assets, a low-cost advantage, or de facto monopolies. By sheltering their profits from competition, these firms can generate oversized margins decade after decade.

Management: We look for great executives who think beyond the next quarter. We want to own companies run by honest managers with above-average skill for allocating capital. We want people with unquestionable integrity, a frank communication style, and a long-term outlook.

Distribution Growth: We look for firms with a commitment to rewarding shareholders. Our best dividend stocks have raised their regular distributions for at least 25 consecutive years. Steady dividend increases signal that the company has a bright future and forces management to be careful when allocating capital.

Dividend Yield: We look for stocks with above-average dividend yields. A high payout suggests that a company might be temporarily out of favor with investors. Studies show that companies with the highest dividend yields tend to outperform the broader market over time.

Best Dividend Stock List

Company Name Ticker Yield Industry Years of Dividend Increases
AT&T Inc. T 5.20% Telecommunications 33
Target Corporation TGT 4.60% Retail-Discount 49
National Retail Properties NNN 4.50% REIT-Retail 27
Mercury General Corp. MCY 4.30% Insurance 30
Altria Group Inc. MO 4.20% Tobacco 47
People’s United Financial PBCT 4.10% Banking 25
Chevron Corp. CVX 4.00% Oil & Gas 29
Old Republic International ORI 4.00% Insurance 36
ExxonMobil Corp. XOM 4.00% Oil & Gas 36
United Bankshares Inc. UBSI 3.90% Banking 43
Universal Corp. UVV 3.8% Tobacco 46
Universal Health Realty Trust UHT 3.50% REIT-Health Care 30
Consolidated Edison ED 3.30% Utility-Electric 43
Coca-Cola Company KO 3.30% Beverages-Non-alcoholic 55
Emerson Electric EMR 3.20% Industrial Equipment 60
Weyco Group Inc. WEYS 3.20% Footwear 36
Federal Realty Inv. Trust FRT 3.20% REIT-Shopping Centers 49
Community Trust Banc. CTBI 3.10% Banking 36
Procter & Gamble Co. PG 3.00% Consumer Products 61
Helmerich & Payne Inc. HP 2.80% Oil & Gas 44
T. Rowe Price Group TROW 2.70% Financial Services 31
VF Corp. VF 2.70% Apparel 44
McGrath Rentcorp MGRC 2.60% Business Services 25

(Source: Various Corporate Filings, last accessed Sept 1, 2017.)

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