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 Industry Yield Years of Dividend Increases
Universal Corp. UVV Tobacco 4.5% 47
Helmerich & Payne Inc. HP Oil&Gas 4.1% 45
Leggett & Platt Inc. LEG Furniture/Bldg. Prod. 3.8% 47
Kimberly-Clark Corp. KMB Personal Products 3.7% 46
Procter & Gamble Co. PG Consumer Products 3.6% 62
Coca-Cola Company KO Beverages-Non-alcoholic 3.5% 56
PepsiCo Inc. PEP Beverages/Snack Food 3.5% 46
Federal Realty Inv. Trust FRT REIT-Shopping Centers 3.3% 50
Genuine Parts Co. GPC Auto Parts 3.0% 62
Target Corp. TGT Retail-Discount 3.0% 51
Illinois Tool Works ITW Machinery 3.0% 44
McDonald’s Corp. MCD Restaurants 2.8% 43
Emerson Electric EMR Industrial Equipment 2.7% 61
3M Company MMM Conglomerate 2.7% 60
Colgate-Palmolive Co. CL Personal Products 2.7% 55
Archer Daniels Midland ADM Agriculture 2.7% 43
Dover Corp. DOV Machinery 2.3% 63
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT Retail-Discount 2.2% 45
Sysco Corp. SYY Food-Wholesale 2.1% 48
Stanley Black & Decker SWK Tools/Security Products 2.0% 51
PPG Industries Inc. PPG Conglomerate 2.0% 47
Telephone & Data Sys. TDS Telecommunications 2.0% 44
Automatic Data Proc. ADP Business Services 2.0% 43
Parker-Hannifin Corp. PH Industrial Equipment 1.8% 62
Lowe’s Companies LOW Retail-Home Improv. 1.8% 56
W.W. Grainger Inc. GWW Electronics-Wholesale 1.7% 47
Commerce Bancshares CBSH Banking 1.5% 50
Carlisle Companies CSL Rubber and Plastics 1.5% 42
H.B. Fuller Company FUL Chemical-Specialty Centers 1.3% 49
Becton Dickinson & Co. BDX Medical Instruments 1.2% 46
Nordson Corp. NDSN Machinery 1.1% 55
S&P Global Inc. SPGI Publishing 1.1% 45
Sherwin-Williams Co. SHW Paints 0.8% 40

(Source: Various Corporate Filings, last accessed October 11, 2018.)

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