7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now
By: Ned Piplovic,
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 portfolio.
Since every portfolio has specific goals and requirements, investors should conduct their own research to confirm compatibility. The list below contains seven of the best dividend stocks to buy now. Six of the seven equities listed below have upcoming ex-dividend dates in early January. Therefore, interested investors should act quickly to take advantage of these suggested equity picks.
7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #7
UDR, Inc. (NYSE:UDR)
Dividend Yield: 3.9%
Ex-Dividend Date: January 8, 2021
UDR is a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in multifamily apartment communities in the urban United States. The majority of its assets are located in the mid-Atlantic, northeastern, and western parts of the U.S., with its urban markets in Washington D.C., New York City and San Francisco making up a substantial share of its portfolio.
After cutting its annual dividend more than 45% during 2009, UDR, Inc. delivered a streak of nine consecutive annual dividend hikes. Over the past nine years, UDR nearly doubled its total annual payout, which corresponds to an average growth rate of 7.3% per year since 2010.
The current $0.36 quarterly distribution is still 5.5% higher than the $0.34 payout from the same period last year. This new payout amount corresponds to a $1.42 annual distribution and a 3.9% forward dividend yield, which is slightly above the 3.1% yield average of the entire Financial sector.
7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #6
Verizon Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VZ)
Dividend Yield: 4.3%
Ex-Dividend Date: January 7, 2021
Verizon is a wireless business servicing nearly 95 million customers in its nationwide network, making it the largest United States wireless carrier by a comfortable margin. 12% of revenue is generated from fixed-line telecom operations, but the company is putting substantial investments in fiber network construction to better support its infrastructure.
Verizon Communications has grown its dividend each year for the last 15 consecutive years and maintained an average annual dividend growth rate of 2.8%. The company’s current $0.63 dividend amount is 1.6% higher than the $0.62 quarterly payout from the same period last year and equivalent to a $2.49 annualized payout, which yields 4.3%. This current yield is over 340% higher than the 0.93% simple yield average of the entire Technology sector. Verizon’s current yield is also four-fold the 1.04% simple average yield of the Domestic Telecommunications Services industry segment, as well as 19% above the 3.5% yield average of the segment’s only dividend-paying equities.
After showing no gains over a two-year period, the share price embarked on its current uptrend in mid-2017, albeit with moderate volatility. Over the trailing 12 months, the share price gained 1.5% to deliver combined one-year total returns of nearly 6%. Over the past five years, asset appreciation and dividend payouts combined for total returns of more than 60%.
7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #5
Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE:LM)
Dividend Yield: 4.18%
Ex-Dividend Date: October 9, 2019
Legg Mason, Inc. — a publicly owned asset management holding company — boosted its quarterly payout amount 17.6% for its most recent distribution in late July. Since cutting its quarterly dividend nearly 88% from $0.24 to $0.03 in 2009, the company has advanced its dividend distributions nearly 10-fold. This advancement pace corresponds to a 28.3% average growth rate over the past nine years.
The current quarterly distribution of $0.40 corresponds to a $1.60 annualized amount and a 4.18% forward dividend yield, which is almost 50% above the company’s own 2.79% average yield over the last five years. Furthermore, the current yield also outperformed the 2.79% average yield of the entire Financial sector by the same margin. Moreover, the current yield is also 37% above the 3.04% simple average yield of all companies in the Regional Investment Brokerage market segment, as well as 14% higher than the 3.65% average yield of the segment’s only dividend-paying companies.
After losing approximately half of its value during 2018, the share price has reversed trend in 2019 and has delivered asset appreciation of more than 22% over the trailing 12 months. Combined with dividend distributions, shareholders enjoyed nearly 25% in total returns over the past year.
7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #4
Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (NYSE:HTA)
Dividend Yield: 4.6%
Ex-Dividend Date: January 4, 2021
Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (NYSE: HTA) is the largest dedicated owner and operator of Medical Office Buildings in the United States with more than 23 million square feet of leasable space. The company generates 100% of its revenue in the United States, largely through low vacancy risk mediums that create a stable cash flow.
The current $0.32 quarterly dividend distribution is 3.1% higher than the previous period’s $0.31 payout. This new payout amount is equivalent to a $1.28 annualized distribution and currently yields 4.6%, having steadily grown 1.6% per year for the last five years.
Despite moderate volatility and decline in share price, the company delivered a total return of just under 1% over the trailing 12 months. The shareholders gained more than 30% in total returns over the last five years.
7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #3
Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE:DOC)
Dividend Yield: 5.1%
Ex-Dividend Date: January 4, 2021
Physicians Realty Trust is a self-managed health care REIT organized to conduct its business through an UPREIT structure in which its properties are owned by Physicians Realty L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, as an operating partnership. The Operating partnership owns the properties directly or through limited partnerships, limited liability companies or other subsidiaries.
The REIT’s current $0.23 quarterly distribution amount is equivalent to a $0.92 annualized dividend distribution and a 5.1% forward dividend yield. It pays higher dividends than the average REIT in its industry, nearly 6% higher than the 4.8% normal yield.
Despite a decline in 2017 that nullified any asset appreciation over the previous three years, the share price advanced 20.2% in the last three years and remains positive today, delivering 1.4% returns before adjusting for dividends and 6.5% total returns in the trailing 12 months. Long-term shareholders enjoyed total returns of 42.3% over the last five years.
7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #2
Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE:KIM)
Dividend Yield: 4.4%
Ex-Dividend Date: December 12, 2020
The Kimco Realty Corporation is one of the oldest real estate investment trusts (REIT) in the United States, keeping its primary interests in U.S. shopping centers. The company owns nearly 60 million square feet of malls, markets, and other shopping centers.
The Kimco Realty Corporation will distribute its next $0.16 quarterly dividend payout in late December 2020, which corresponds to a $0.64 annualized payout and a 4.4% forward dividend yield. In the trailing 12 months its dividend payout was slightly payout at 5.7%.
After cutting its dividend 60% in the after math of the 2008 financial crisis Kimco resumed dividend hikes in 2011. It was forced to cut its dividend once more following the financial fallout in early 2020, with its share price dropping 44.27% in February. In the recent months it has made a strong recovery, having regrown 40.74% in November 2020, but still has poor returns in the trailing 12 months. The stock is down 25.2% in the last year, indicated a potential dip that could make for an excellent buying opportunity.
7 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: #1
Brixmor Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:BRX)
Dividend Yield: 5.4%
Ex-Dividend Date: January 5, 2021
Headquartered in New York City and founded in 2013, the Brixmor Property Group is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns, operates and manages primarily open-air shopping centers.
The current $0.22 quarterly dividend marks a recent decrease from the typical $0.28 payout. This new quarterly distribution corresponds to an $0.86 annualized amount and a 5.4% forward dividend yield, which is more than 15% higher than the company’s own 4.9% average yield over the past five years.
Brixmor boosted its annual dividend payout amount every year since its formation in 2014 until the economic confusion of 2020. Despite this, over the past five years, the company has enhanced its dividend an average of 9% per year. Although the share price is also down this year, having dropped 21.9% in the trailing 12 months, this may also be seen as a buying opportunity for eager investors now able to purchase shares of this growing dividend payer at a substantial discount.
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