7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now

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Always on the lookout for the best dividend stocks to buy now, income investors should consider adding one or more of the equities on the list below to their investment portfolios.

Since every portfolio has specific goals and timing requirements, investors should conduct their own research to confirm compatibility. The list below contains seven of the best dividend stocks to buy now.

 

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7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #7

FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE)

Dividend Yield: 3.74%

The FirstEnergy Corporation is an electric utility that serves approximately six million customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. The company’s current $0.38 quarterly dividend amount is 5.6% higher than the $0.36 payout from the same period last year. This dividend hike marks the first increase after five years of flat dividend distributions. The new quarterly payout corresponds to a $1.52 annualized distribution and yields 3.74%.

This current yield is nearly 78% higher than the 2.11% average dividend yield of the entire Utilities sector and 65% higher than the 2.27% simple average yield of all the FirstEnergy’s peers in the Electric Utilities industry segment. Additionally, FirstEnergy’s current yield is also nearly 5% higher than the 3.57% average yield of the segment’s only dividend-paying companies. The above average dividend distributions combined with the rising share price to reward the company’s shareholders with a 20% total return over the past 12 months, a 26% total return over the past three years and a total return of more than 43% over the last five years.

 

7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #6

Realty Income Corporation (NYSE:O)

Dividend Yield: 3.95%

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Headquartered in San Diego and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) since 1994, the Realty Income Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the commercial real estate market. The company has delivered nearly 600 consecutive monthly dividend payouts in its 50-year history. Additionally, since converting to a REIT in 1994, the company has enhanced its annual payout every year by delivering nearly 100 annual dividend boosts — an average of nearly four dividend increases per year.

The REIT enhanced its dividend payout at an average annual growth rate of 5.1% over the past 19 consecutive years. The current $0.266 monthly payout corresponds to a $20.71 annualized distribution and yields 3.95%. In addition to delivering to its shareholders rising dividend income payouts over nearly two decades, the REIT also delivered strong asset appreciation.

The share price advanced more than 32% just over the past 12 months and nearly 60% over the past five years. Combined with the dividend income distributions, the company delivered a total return of almost 40% over the past year and shareholders nearly doubled their money over the past five years with a total return of more than 93%.

 

7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #5

Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI)       

            Dividend Yield: 5%

After more than doubling its annual dividend distribution from 2011 to 2015, Kinder Morgan cut its annual dividend payout nearly 75% to just $0.50 for 2016 and 2017. However, since resuming dividend hikes, the company doubled its annual dividend amount over the past two years. The current $0.25 quarterly distribution is 25% higher than the $0.20 amount from the previous period.

The new quarterly payout corresponds to a $1.00 annualized dividend distribution and a 5% forward dividend yield, which is 12.4% above the company’s own 4.44% average yield over the past five years. Kinder Morgan will reward all its shareholders of record before the April 29, 2019, ex-dividend date with dividend payouts on the upcoming May 15, 2019, pay date.

The company’s share price lost 70% in 2015, which resulted in a total shareholder’s loss of nearly 30% over the past five years. However, the recovering share price and the renewed dividend hikes delivered a total return of nearly 16% over the past three years and a total return of more than 25% over the trailing 12 months.

 

7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #4

Phillips 66 Partners LP (NYSE:PSXP)     

Dividend Yield: 6.6%

Phillips 66 Partners LP owns, operates, develops and acquires crude oil, refined petroleum products and natural gas liquids (NGL) pipelines and terminals, as well as other transportation and midstream assets. The company has increased its annual dividend payout amount every year since introducing dividends in October 2013. Over the past six consecutive years, the company advanced it annual payout amount 445%, which corresponds to an average growth rate of nearly 33% per year. The current $0.845 is 1.2% higher than the previous period’s $0.835 distribution and marks a 23rd consecutive quarterly dividend hike. The $3.38 annualized dividend amount corresponds to a 6.6% dividend yield, which is more than 68% above the 3.9% five-year average.

The company’s share lost nearly half of its value from mid-2014 to the end of 2016, which translated to a 2.5% total shareholders’ loss over the past three years, despite the rising dividend payouts. However, the share price gained 2.5% over the last year and combined with the rising dividend income to deliver a total return of 9.24% over the trailing 12 months.

 

7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #3

Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (NYSE:APLE)

Dividend Yield: 7.44%

Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (NYSE:APLE) is a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns a portfolio of upscale, select-service hotels in the United States. Apple Hospitality’s portfolio consists of 114 Marriott-branded hotels and 126 Hilton-branded hotels with more than 30,000 guest rooms located in 34 states. The company’s current $0.10 monthly dividend is equivalent to a $1.20 annualized payout. The company has managed to maintain a steady level of quarterly distribution since initiating payouts in April 2015.

Apple Hospitality’s current 7.44% dividend yield is more than 140% above the 3.09% average yield of the overall Financials sector, as well as 124% higher than the company’s peers in the Real Estate Development industry segment. Furthermore, the APLE’s current dividend yield also outperformed the 4.63% average yield of the segments only dividend-paying companies by more than 60%. Apple Hospitality’s next pay date is set for May 15, 2019, when the company will distribute next round of dividends to all eligible shareholders of record before the May 1, 2019, ex-dividend date.

 

7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #2

Targa Resources Corporation (NYSE:TRGP)                           

Dividend Yield: 8.9%

Despite paying a flat annual dividend amount over the past four years, the Targa Resources corporation, has enhanced its total annual dividend amount nearly four-fold since its first dividend distribution in January 2011. This level advancement is equivalent to an 18.7% average annual growth rate. The company’s current $0.91 quarterly distribution corresponds to a $3.64 annual payout and yields 8.9%. This current yield is 22% higher than the company’s 7.28% average yield over the past five years. The company will distribute its next round of dividend payouts on the May 15, 2019, pay date to all shareholders of record prior to the April 30, ex-dividend date.

Even with moderate volatility over the past five years, the share price gained 135% since the beginning of 2016. While still down from its two-year high in October 2018, the share price has gained more than 20% since its 52-week low in late-December and still has more than 25% room on the upside before it reaches the analysts average target price of $51.25.

 

7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #1

Great Elm Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:GECC)

Dividend Yield: 11.9%

Headquartered in Boston and established in 2016, the Great Elm Capital Corporation is a business development company that specializes in loan and mezzanine, middle-market investments in media, health care, telecommunication services and communications equipment. GECC is managed by Great Elm Capital Management, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Elm Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:GEC).

A share price decline of more than 11% over the past year drove the company’s dividend yield above 11%. However, while declining over the trailing 12 months, the share price has been rising and has gained 4.4% since the beginning of 2019. In addition to a steady monthly dividend payout of $0.083, the company also distributed special $0.166 dividends in January 2017, as well as $0.20 and $0.24 at the beginning of the two subsequent years. While the share price pullback over the past year and cut the benefit of the 11.9% dividend yield nearly in half, the share price has gained 6.4% since the beginning of 2019 and 11.8% since its 52-week-low on December 24, 2018.


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Ned-Piplovic

 

Ned Piplovic is the assistant editor of website content at Eagle Financial Publications. He graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Philosophy. Prior to joining Eagle, Ned spent 15 years in corporate operations and financial management. Ned writes for www.DividendInvestor.com and www.StockInvestor.com.


 

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