Best Dividend Stocks of December 2017

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.

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Best Dividend Stock List

Company Name Ticker Industry Yield Years of Dividend Increases
Dover Corp. DOV Machinery 2.8% 62
Parker-Hannifin Corp. PH Industrial Equipment 1.4% 61
Genuine Parts Co. GPC Auto Parts 2.9% 61
Procter & Gamble Co. PG Consumer Products 3.1% 61
Emerson Electric EMR Industrial Equipment 3.0% 60
3M Company MMM Conglomerate 2.0% 59
Lowe's Companies LOW Retail-Home Improv. 2.0% 55
Colgate-Palmolive Co. CL Personal Products 2.2% 54
Nordson Corp. NDSN Machinery 0.9% 54
Tootsie Roll Industries TR Confectioner 1.0% 51
Target Corp. TGT Retail-Discount 4.0% 50
Stanley Black & Decker SWK Tools/Security Products 1.5% 50
Commerce Bancshares CBSH Banking 1.6% 49
Coca-Cola Company KO Beverages-Non-alcoholic 3.3% 55
Federal Realty Inv. Trust FRT REIT-Shopping Centers 3.0% 49
H.B. Fuller Company FUL Chemical-Specialty 1.1% 48
Sysco Corp. SYY Food-Wholesale 2.5% 47
Universal Corp. UVV Tobacco 4.1% 46
W.W. Grainger Inc. GWW Electronics-Wholesale 2.3% 46
Leggett & Platt Inc. LEG Furniture/Bldg. Prod. 3.0% 46
PPG Industries Inc. PPG Conglomerate 1.5% 46
C.R. Bard Inc. BCR Medical Instruments 0.3% 45
Becton Dickinson & Co. BDX Medical Instruments 1.3% 45
Kimberly-Clark Corp. KMB Personal Products 3.3% 45
PepsiCo Inc. PEP Beverages/Snack Food 2.8% 45
Helmerich & Payne Inc. HP Oil&Gas 2.6% 44
S&P Global Inc. SPGI Publishing 1.0% 44
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT Retail-Discount 2.1% 44
Telephone & Data Sys. TDS Telecommunications 2.2% 43
Illinois Tool Works ITW Machinery 1.9% 43
Automatic Data Proc. ADP Business Services 2.2% 42
Archer Daniels Midland ADM Agriculture 3.2% 42
McDonald's Corp. MCD Restaurants 2.4% 42
Carlisle Companies CSL Rubber and Plastics 1.3% 41
Sherwin-Williams Co. SHW Paints 0.9% 39

(Source: Various Corporate Filings, last accessed Dec 01, 2017.)

Our Income Investors Team

John Whitefoot, BA

John Whitefoot is an analyst at Lombardi Publishing Corporation specializing in low-priced investment opportunities and is editor of Lombardi's popular income newsletters, Automated Income and Passive Monthly Income.

Primarily a fundamental analyst, John has been a financial writer since the late 1990s and has written on everything from income stocks to blue-chip stocks to the broader issues that affect the stock market. John has profiled more than 1,000 low-priced and conservative stocks.

Jing Pan, B.Sc., MA

Jing Pan is a research analyst and editor at Income Investors. His interests are in the fields of macroeconomics, technology, and currency. His major projects have included analyzing the relationship between the interpersonal trust index and economic performance, algorithmic trading in the foreign exchange markets, and the long-term impact of welfare programs.

Jing holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Science Degree, both from the University of Toronto.

Jing was co-founder of E-Learning’s Online Tutoring Service in Beijing, China; a project analyst at BMO Capital Markets; and a graduate research assistant at the University of Toronto.