Tag Archives: CSCO

7 Stocks With ‘Tax Cut’ Dividend Increases on Tap

Congress and President Donald Trump passed a historic tax cut late last year, lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. This monumental legislation should place hundreds of billions of dollars back in the hands of corporations. But which companies will put these dollars in the hands of investors as dividend increases?

Some companies will use the money saved — or repatriated from overseas — to reinvest in their businesses. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), for example, will invest $50 billion into infrastructure in the coming years.

Other companies will use the money to repurchase stock. Regrettably, those stocks are very overvalued right now.

Many companies, however, will boost their dividends to reward shareholders. This will be particularly true of companies that are already cash flow positive and are struggling to grow or would struggle anyway just given their business.

Here are seven likely candidates for dividend increases.

Dividend Increases: Apple (AAPL) Apple Inc. (AAPL)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/aaplmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: via Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be one of the big winners in the tax cut game. For starters, it should be able to repatriate about $215 billion. It will also save about $2.2 billion in taxes. Now, Apple not only will have all that cash on hand, it also has free cash flow in excess of $50 billion.

What’s interesting about AAPL stock is the yield is only 1.49%, based on a $2.52 per share dividend. Apple could literally afford to plow the entire tax savings into an increased dividend — boosting it by $0.44 per share — to $2.96 per share or 1.72%.

Dividend Increases: Home Depot (HD) Why HD Stock Is Finally Too Expensiveinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/hdmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr (Modified)

Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) is another huge winner in the corporate tax cut parade. HD will save close to $675 million annually.

The beauty of Home Depot is that the company is currently firing on all cylinders. They’re seeing fabulous same-store comps. And their current dividend payout is presently a mere 40% of free cash flow.

Home Depot can and should plow their entire tax savings into a dividend increase of $0.65 per share, lifting the dividend from $3.56 to $4.21 per share. That would push the yield from 1.88% to 2.22%.

Dividend Increases: Pfizer (PFE) PFE Stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-300×150.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-768×384.jpg 768w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-60×30.jpg 60w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-200×100.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-400×200.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-116×58.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-100×50.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-78×39.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-800×400.jpg 800w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pfemsn-170×85.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 950px) 100vw, 950px” /> Source: Shutterstock

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) stands to save about $150 million annually. As a big pharma company, Pfizer must continually feed its R&D machine. R&D routinely costs about $7.5 – $8.5 billion annually, yet that money comes out of its extremely robust free cash flow which runs $13 – 16 billion annually.

Figure a $.025 dividend increase on top of its already annual increase, which results in a small increase in yield from 3.75% to 3.77%. Not big, but a lot of retirement investors hold PFE stock.

Dividend Increases: Cisco (CSCO) investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Shutterstock

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has fallen into no/slow-growth territory with net income effectively stalling over the past couple of years. Nevertheless, CSCO stock generates about $13 billion annually in free cash flow. That’s pretty amazing, so the additional $350 million in tax savings would likely all go to increasing the dividend.

The $.07 per share increase would push the dividend from $1.16 per share to $1.23 per share, lifting the yield from 3.03% to 3.14%.

Dividend Increases: Coca-Cola (KO) The Coca-Cola Co KO stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/komsn2-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Leo Hidalgo via Flickr (Modified)

The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) has really been struggling the past few years. The world moved away from sugary drinks and toward healthier choices. Revenue is falling, as is net income.

Nevertheless, KO stock has enjoyed bountiful cash flow for decades and has almost $40 billion of cash on hand. So while business is struggling, much of the $220 million in tax savings may go to either stock repurchases or dividend increases.

If the latter, that means a $0.05 per share increase to $1.53 per share, boosting the yield from 3.23% to 3.36%.

Dividend Increases: Microsoft (MSFT) Why You Should Buy Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Stock on the Dipinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/MSFTMSN-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Mike Mozart Via Flickr

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will win big with the tax cut as well. Because Microsoft is finally growing earnings again, but has tons of cash and cash flow, there is no need to plow the tax savings into the business.

MSFT can also start to make big strides towards becoming an income stock. Get this — before the cut, MSFT generated $30 billion in free cash flow last year, and paid out only $11.8 billion in dividends.

Tax savings could push another $0.04 per share into the dividend, lifting it to $1.72 per share.

Dividend Increases: Boeing (BA) Boeing BA stockinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bamsn-1-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” /> Source: Phillip Capper via Flickr

Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) is another widely-held stock that’s in a sweet-spot as far as how to use its tax windfall. They aren’t saving an enormous chunk of money — about $93 million — but that still translates to a $0.16 per share dividend increase.

That would push the dividend right up to $7 per share, lifting the yield from 2.32% to 2.34%.

Lawrence Meyers is the CEO of PDL Capital, a specialty lender focusing on consumer finance and is the Manager of The Liberty Portfolio at www.thelibertyportfolio.com. He does not own any stock mentioned. He has 23 years’ experience in the stock market, and has written more than 1,800 articles on investing. Lawrence Meyers can be reached at TheLibertyPortfolio@gmail.com.

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10 Can’t-Miss Dividend Growth Stocks for 2018

Dividend growth stocks have obvious appeal. After all, dividend investing is based on buying and holding a stock for the payouts. So if a company can consistently increase its distributions to investors over time, all the better.

Unlike traditional growth investing, where you depend on a stock increasing in value based on profits or sales trends, dividend investing focuses on the payouts above all else. The best dividend stocks to buy offer regular deposits into your bank account, but the best dividend stocks are committed to making those paychecks larger every year.

Think of it this way: If you pay $40 a share and get a $1 annual dividend, you have a 2.5% yield on your investment. But if that payout increases to $1.40 annually after a few years your yield is now 3.5% based on your cost to buy the stock … and if the income growth continues to $1.80 annually, you’re now making 4.5% yield. And all by keeping your money in the same place and depending on bigger payouts!

That’s the power of dividend growth investing in 2018. Not only are you getting a stable return on your initial investment, but your payouts continue to increase over time.

So what are some of the most impressive income-growing plays on Wall Street as we enter 2018? Here are 10 to consider:

Dividend Growth Stocks: CVS (CVS)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cvsmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr
Dividend Growth Stocks: CVS Current Yield: 2.8% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 733%

If you think CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) is just a drug store filling prescriptions and selling candy bars, you don’t understand the business fully. Beyond its 9,700 retail locations in the U.S., it operates 1,100 walk-in healthcare clinics and runs a massive pharmacy benefits business serving more than 1 million patients per year, as well as offering a lucrative Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

In fact, its pharmacy benefit management solutions segment accounts for almost 60% of total revenues. And the company is looking to move away from traditional retail pharmacies even more with a rumored buyout plan for diversified healthcare benefits company Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET).

Like many healthcare-related dividend stocks, CVS also should benefit from an aging population in the U.S. And the healthcare business is relatively immune from fluctuations in the economic cycle, which provides a solid foundation for reliable dividend growth. That shows up in its impressive dividend history.

Dividend Growth Stocks: Ciscoinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-78×43.jpg 78w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock
Dividend Growth Stocks: Cisco Current Yield: 3% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 380%

In truth, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) actually has 10-year dividend growth that is infinite because it didn’t pay out out a penny in dividends before 2011.

But after that initial payday of 6 cents a quarter, CSCO has rapidly ramped up its dividend growth to now pay 29 cents a share after a nearly 12% bump in payouts in early 2017.

When investors look for reliable dividend stocks, often they overlook the tech sector. But that’s a big mistake, as evidenced by Cisco. Not only does the IT giant currently yield a nice amount at present, but it has steadily increased payouts and is clearly committed to that trend.

And with that payout less than half of profits, CSCO stock has plenty of room to grow its dividend even more in the years ahead.

Dividend Growth Stocks: Home Depotinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Home-Improvement-Home-Depot-1-300×198.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Home-Improvement-Home-Depot-1-250×165.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Home-Improvement-Home-Depot-1-200×132.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Home-Improvement-Home-Depot-1-65×43.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Home-Improvement-Home-Depot-1-100×66.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Home-Improvement-Home-Depot-1-150×99.jpg 150w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Home-Improvement-Home-Depot-1-120×80.jpg 120w” sizes=”(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px” />

Dividend Growth Stocks: Home Depot Current Yield: 2% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 295%

Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) may not have a particularly noteworthy yield at present, with its payouts just short of that found via 10-year Treasury bonds. But as the largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. and almost four decades of dominance in the industry, HD has been able to deliver powerful dividend growth to investors over time.

And with a strong brand, convenient store locations, a unique in-store shopping experience, growing digital operations and an expanding home improvement market, HD appears to be well-positioned for continued growth.

Home Depot has paid dividends for the past 29 years, raising its payout by an impressive 25% annual pace over the past five. Management last hiked the dividend by 29% earlier this year, and investors can expect strong growth going forward thanks to Home Depot’s safe payout ratio below 50% and outlook for continued earnings growth.

Dividend Growth Stocks: Texas Instrumentsinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MSFTHoloLens2AIChipMSN-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Microsoft
Dividend Growth Stocks: Texas Instruments Current Yield: 2% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 161%

Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN) is a global semiconductor company that develops analog integrated circuits and embedded processors. Instead of chasing down fancy branded chips with exclusive uses, TXN made its name on the simpler analog chips that serve as the backbone for even the most basic of gadgets.

Of course, Texas Instruments may have sacrificed some margins there. But what it got in exchange was a reliable business and relationships with electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide.

It owns and operates semiconductor manufacturing facilities (wafer fabrication and assembly/test facilities) in North America, Asia, Japan and Europe. TXN also caters to many diversified markets like industrial (33% of total revenue), personal electronics (26%), automotive (18%) and communications (13%).

That adds up to a reliable revenue stream, allowing TXN to pay uninterrupted dividends since 1962. Dividend growth has been consistent, too, most recently with a 32% one-time hike doled out in late 2016 to mark the 13th consecutive year of larger dividends.

Dividend Growth Stocks: Starbucksinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-116×64.jpg 116w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/starbucks-corporation-sbux-coffee-msn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock
Dividend Growth Stocks: Starbucks Current Yield: 1.8% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 500%

In truth, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) didn’t offer regular distributions before 2010. But in that short time, it has ramped up payments from 5 cents to 25 cents in a serious effort to share its profits more directly with shareholders.

With more than four decades of experience selling coffee, Starbucks has become a leading, premium brand name in the industry. That gives it a dominance that results in reliable revenue — and reliable paydays for investors as a result.

The company sells coffee primarily under its flagship Starbucks Coffee brand as well as Teavana, Tazo, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Ethos brands. Starbucks is well-known for its prompt customer service and quality products.

SBUX last boosted its payout by 25% in late 2016, and with earnings per share expected to grow by double-digits annually and the company’s payout ratio below 50%, SBUX’s dividend should continue its impressive growth over the coming years.

Dividend Growth Stocks: Procter & Gambleinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gillette-msn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock
Dividend Growth Stocks: Procter & Gamble Current Yield: 3.1% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 97%

No dividend list would be complete without consumer products king Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG). P&G stock yields more than 3% at present, and has increased its payouts for a simply amazing 60 consecutive years. Furthermore, it has roughly doubled its payouts over the past 10 years.

That’s saying something, considering the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 caused many previously strong companies to reduce or altogether eliminate their payouts.

But P&G is as stable a corporation as they come, with a wide product portfolio that includes Pampers diapers, Tide laundry detergent, Charmin toilet paper and a host of other big brands that are staples of consumer cupboards.

With a strong history of payouts and current dividends at just two-thirds of earnings, that growth has a good chance of continuing as the company prospers.

Dividend Growth Stocks: Lowe'sinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-300×168.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-71×40.jpg 71w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-53×30.jpg 53w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-250×140.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-200×112.jpg 200w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-100×56.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-150×84.jpg 150w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-142×80.jpg 142w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-88×50.jpg 88w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Lowe_s_Scales_Back_Sales_Guidance_Despite_Earnings-170×95.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px” />

Dividend Growth Stocks: Lowe’s Current Yield: 1.8% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 412%

Retail is a rough business these days, but as Home Depot showed already there is a safe haven for merchants in the home improvement space. And just like HD stock, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) is committed to sharing its success with stock holders via bigger dividends over time.

How committed? Well, back in 2007 it was paying 8 cents per quarter… and now, after a 17% hike to payouts in 2017, it’s paying 41 cents.

And with more than 50 consecutive years of increases, you can be sure that payout will rise even more in 2018 and beyond. As with HD the headline yield isn’t great, but the consistency is definitely worth paying attention to.

 

Dividend Growth Stocks: Hormelinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-100×55.jpg 100w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/hrlmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr (Modified)
Dividend Growth Stocks: Hormel Current Yield: 2% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 267%

Meats mega brand Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL) is as stable a stock as they come. Its consumer-staples focus provides a steady revenue stream, and more than 50 straight years of dividend increases show its income power is reliable, too.

But don’t think this is one of those stocks increasing payouts modestly; adjusted for two 2-for-1 splits, payouts have increased almost 270% in the past decade!

Hormel continues to grow and dominate the processed-meat space, as evidenced by its 2015 acquisition of organic foods giant Applegate and its more recent buyout bid for food-service company Fontanini Italian Meats & Sausages.

That will ensure continued success — and dividends — for years to come.

Dividend Growth Stocks: American States Waterinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/awrmsn-170×93.jpg 170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw,728px” />Source: Sarah Laval via Flickr (Modified)
Dividend Growth Stocks: American States Water Current Yield: 1.8% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 104%

When investors think about reliable and stable businesses, utilities are often the go-to choice. However, while there are plenty of strong energy utilities out there worth buying, it’s easy to overlook the strength of a company like American States Water Co (NYSE:AWR) that deals in water and sewer infrastructure.

As water issues increasingly become a concern amid drought and shortages in the American West, you can be sure AWR is going to be even more important in the years ahead.

And considering it has increased dividends annually for 62 years — the longest streak of any publicly traded company — you can be sure it will share its success with shareholders via growing payouts at the same time.

While the current yield isn’t grand, you may not find a more reliable source of dividend growth and consistent paydays than this low-risk water utility.

Dividend Growth Stocks: Visainvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-300×165.jpg 300w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/vmsn-170×93.jpg170w” sizes=”(max-width: 728px) 100vw, 728px” />Source: Shutterstock
Dividend Growth Stocks: Visa Current Yield: 0.7% 10-Year Dividend Growth: 625%

Visa Inc (NYSE:V) is a global payments technology company providing electronic payment services, making it at the center of the “cashless economy” trend that is pervading not just develop markets but also fast-growing regions in Asia and South America. With about 50% share of the global market (outside of China, which has prohibitions on some banking and payments competition), Visa is your best bet to play this megatrend.

As commerce continues rapidly moving away from cash and towards digital payments, Visa is well-positioned to leverage strong growth from this trend. A strong brand name, extensive payment network and reliable technology should help Visa maintain its market position as the industry grows.

Speaking of growth, Visa’s dividend growth has been outstanding. The company’s payout has increased by nearly 25% per year over the past five calendar years, including a 21% hike late last year.

With a payout ratio below 40% and earnings growth expected to remain strong, Visa investors can likely expect strong double-digit dividend growth to continue over the coming years.

As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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12 Best Dividend Stocks for the Next 12 Months

Finding the best dividend stocks involves looking beyond the next few weeks and thinking about a long-term investment. After all, if you’re only in a dividend stock for a short time then you may not get the full yield that’s based on a full year of payouts.

And heck, if you don’t pay attention to dividend dates, you may not get a single payment!

It’s much better, then, to focus on the best dividend stocks for the next year instead of just the next month. That is the only way to ensure that you get a full battery of payments from your investments, and that you maximize the income potential of your portfolio.

In truth, all investors are too short-sighted with their portfolios. They fear short-term volatility, and make rash decisions. But particularly if you’re a dividend investor, thinking in any less than 12-month increments can be very detrimental to your performance.

To help you make the most of 2018, then, here are 12 dividend stocks that will continue to profit for the next 12 months, not just the short term.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now - Enterprise Products Partners (EPD)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/epdmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Bilfinger via Flickr
Sector: Energy Market Cap: $52 billion Yield: 7% YTD Return: -10% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD) is a great example of the income potential in energy stocks. While exploration and production companies have to take on big debts on the hopes that they will strike enough oil to turn a profit, EPD is just a middleman between those producers and the marketplace. That insulates it from the volatility of energy prices, and allows for a more reliable revenue stream.

In addition to the reliable revenue stream of its business, EPD also boasts an impressive scale that should be attractive to low-risk investors. The energy company operates more than 49,000 miles of pipeline, 260 million barrels of crude oil storage and another 14 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage.

Currently, Enterprise Products offers a great yield of 7%, and has a strong track record of raising distributions over time, too. It’s this constant and growing payout that is the hallmark of a good MLP investment.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Ladder Capital (LADR) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Ladder Capital (LADR)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/reitmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Yuriy Trubitsyn via Unsplash
Sector: REITs Market Cap: $2 billion Yield: 9.2% YTD Return: 1% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Ladder Capital Corp (NYSE:LADR) is not your typical real estate investment trust. Unlike other stocks that own shopping malls or office parks, LADR doesn’t own physical properties. Instead, it invests as a third party in these real estate holdings either through lending, equity investments or other financing.

This makes Ladder Capital more of a financial stock than a real estate play in a way, since its stock is tied to the performance of its underlying investments in properties. But the difference is that while banks can operate with a bit more flexibility, the designation as an REIT demands that the firm delivers 90% of taxable income back to shareholders. That is a mandate for big dividends, with LADR being a pass-through for shareholders who want to share in the fruits of its investments.

Those investments are looking pretty strong, too, with loans and investment in properties that span the country from New York to L.A. Those deals collectively deliver a more than 9% dividend to shareholders via the interest on those loans and other capital appreciation. And as the American economy continues to thrive with low unemployment, high consumer confidence and a roaring stock market, these investments are sure to keep delivering.

This is a great cyclical dividend play for the next few years as a result of rising rents and property values in 2018.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: AbbVie (ABBV) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: AbbVie (ABBV)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/abbvmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Black Stripe via Wikimedia (Modified)
Sector: Healthcare Market Cap: $153 billion Yield: 3% YTD Return: 52% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) was spun off of Big Pharma mainstay Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) in 2013, and it is the drug-focused arm of the previous company. It’s home to current blockbusters, including psoriasis treatment Humira as well as a research-driven drugmaker looking for the next generation of big-name cures.

Analysts are projecting revenue growth at ABBV of almost 10% this year and next, and profit expansion of 15% or better both years thanks to a strong pharmaceutical portfolio. And that success has translated into generous dividends, as the company has ramped up its payout from 40 cents after its initial spin-off to 64-cents-per-share just four years later.

With decent profit growth resulting in continued dividend growth, investors can enjoy not just a robust payout now, but the hopes of continued payouts from this healthcare giant going forward.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Southern Company (SO) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Southern Company (SO)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/somsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Desiree Kane via Flickr
Sector: Utilities Market Cap: $51 billion Yield: 4.5% YTD Return: 4% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) is one of the largest utilities in the U.S., serving 19 states through various subsidiaries. While its oldest core holdings, including Alabama Power and Georgia Power, are electric utilities, the company’s Southern Company Gas operates a massive natural gas distribution business from Maryland to Florida and its Southern Telecom is a play on fiber optics in the Southeast as well.

SO stock offers scale and stability, and is a consistent dividend payer that has mailed check to shareholders since 1982. On top of that, Southern Company has raised dividend payouts at least once each year since 2001 even as it has continued to expand aggressively into other businesses and geographies.

Utility stocks are some of the safest bets out there thanks to geographic monopolies and a highly regulated industry that doesn’t allow for new entrants or much competition. As one of the nation’s leading utilities with a reliable customer base, SO is sure to prosper in 2018.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Phillips 66 Partners (PSXP) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now – Phillips 66 Partners (PSXP)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn-170×93.jpg170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/oilmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Shutterstock
Sector: Energy Market Cap: $5 billion Yield: 5.8% YTD Return: -7% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Many of the most successful MLPs have been created by large energy companies that want the benefit from the unique structure of this kind of business. It’s often a win-win for both the primary stock that is the general partner as well as for the new partnership that has been created, and that’s exactly the case with Phillips 66 Partners LP (NYSE:PSXP) and its corporate parent ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).

Spun off in 2013, Phillips 66 Partners consists of pipelines, terminals and other midstream assets that help power the broader ConocoPhillips business. The tax benefits and a generous yield of over 5% kicked back to COP as a major investor make it great for the parent, but the MLP benefits nicely too. Consider PSXP received more than $2.3 billion in projects from its parent company last year alone!

Phillips 66 Partners has raised its distribution for 16 consecutive quarters since entering public markets, and is clearly committed to delivering consistent income to its shareholders.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Medical Properties Trust (MPW) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now – Medical Properties Trust (MPW)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn-170×93.jpg170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/mpwmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Shutterstock
Sector: REITs Market Cap: $5 billion Yield: 7% YTD Return: 12% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Medical Properties Trust, Inc. (NYSE:MPW) is a fast-growing REIT seeing brisk expansion of its funds from operations — the most important measure we can get from this special class of tax-sheltered companies. That reliable and growing flow of cash also helps fuel reliable and growing dividends, to the tune of 7% currently.

But it’s not just the income potential that’s worth a look here. Aging baby boomers are increasing demand for care in the U.S., inflationary trends guarantee pricing power in the sector, and even in an economic downturn you’ll see Americans cut back on everything but their healthcare.

MPW is well-positioned to capitalize on this trend thanks to its ownership of community hospitals and acute-care centers — and a recent acquisition of 11 more facilities will certainly boost its numbers in the year ahead.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Altria (MO) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Altria (MO)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/momsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Peyri Herrera via Flickr (Modified)
Sector: Consumer staples Market Cap: $129 billion Yield: 3.9% YTD Return: -2% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) may strike some as a no-growth company without much upside. However, this pick is not just a dividend stock; consider that over the past five years, it has actually outperformed the S&P 500 in share price performance alone thanks to aggressive buybacks and shrewd management of profitability.

And of course, MO stock is a go-to for dividend investors after 48 consecutive years of increases in its payout. Those increases aren’t a penny here and there, either — as evidenced most recently with an 8% bump in 2017 from 61 cents to 66 cents.

Yes, traditional tobacco products are on the outs. But keep in mind that Altria is not merely Philip Morris USA — the name behind iconic cigarette brands like Marlboro and Parliament. Altria also dabbles in smokeless products and even wines via producer Ste. Michelle. This provides an added level of long-term stability.

Shares haven’t done much lately in 2017, but with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of less than 18 and reliable profit growth ahead in 2018, I’d bank on Altria regardless of short-term market trends.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Cisco (CSCO) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Cisco (CSCO)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn-170×93.jpg 170w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cscomsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Shutterstock
Sector: Technology Market Cap: $186 billion Yield: 3.1% YTD Return: 25% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

When investors look for reliable dividend stocks, often they overlook the tech sector. That’s in part because even tech companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) that pay some kind of dividend still offer less than 10-year Treasuries — or on the flip side, because many tech stocks that do yield a decent amount don’t have much to offer investors beyond their dividends.

But Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) stands apart. Not only does the IT giant currently offer an attractive dividend, with payouts that have jumped from 6 cents in 2011 to 29 cents a quarter at present, it also has a good growth story to tell after an impressive earnings report before Thanksgiving. Not only did it beat on earnings and boost its outlook, but the company showed Wall Street it is effectively transitioning away from networking hardware and into cloud-based solutions that are the norm in 2017. Shares are up about 20% in the last three months as a result.

These structural improvements at CSCO bode well for 2018 and beyond. And given Cisco’s commitment to increased dividends and deep pockets with some $72 billion in cash and investments in the bank, you can be certain this company will keep rewarding shareholders for the next decade to come.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Diageo (DEO) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Diageo (DEO)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/deomsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px)100vw, 300px” />Source: Puamella via Flickr (Modified)
Sector: Consumer staples Market Cap: $87 billion Yield: 2.3% YTD Return: 35% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE:DEO) is a world leader in the spirits business, with mega-brands including Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray and Guinness beer, among a host of others. And thanks to a focus mainly on liquor, DEO stock has been largely insulated from the shakeup we’ve seen in the beer biz as craft brews have eroded share.

For instance, even as Anheuser Busch InBev NV (ADR) (NYSE:BUD) has struggled since 2015 despite a $200 billion operation with some of the biggest mainline beers on the planet, Diageo has slightly outperformed the market thanks to modest but consistent growth.

As a “sin stock,” Diageo also has the unique benefit of seeing stable or even increased demand during hard times. After all, why give up your cocktails if the market is crashing, hurricanes are bearing down on your house and North Korea is thinking of detonating a nuke?

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Dominion Energy (D) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Dominion Energy (D)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy-170×93.jpg 170w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/energy.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Riccardo Annandale Via Unsplash
Sector: Utilities Market Cap: $52 billion Yield: 3.7% YTD Return: -10% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Dominion Energy Inc (NYSE:D) is a safe play for a host of reasons. But chief among them are the facts that it is a low-risk utility stock with reliable operations and a significant yield.

Dominion generates electricity mainly in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. from North Carolina to Pennsylvania and distributes natural gas across a wide swath of the American West. The consistent cash flow from these operations has fueled consistent dividend payouts for almost 90 years, and has allowed Dominion to grow payouts substantially over time; distributions were 39.5 cents quarter at the end of 2008 and are now 77 cents, an increase of about 95% in about nine years.

The icing on the cake is that Dominion is one of the most adaptable and diversified utilities in the U.S., with numerous nuclear and renewable power generation facilities in its portfolio. This isn’t just good as a hedge against the long-term decline of fossil fuels, but also a bridge to new business. One recent headline that should really pique investor interest is a recent contract to provide renewable energy to a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) data center in Virginia.

That kind of willingness to meet big corporations where they live is a strong sign that Dominion is forward-thinking and isn’t just sitting back collecting monthly checks from customers.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Merck (MRK) Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Merck (MRK)investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-400×220.jpg 400w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-116×64.jpg 116w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-91×50.jpg 91w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn-170×93.jpg 170w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mrkmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Shutterstock
Sector: Healthcare Market Cap: $151 billion Yield: 3.4% YTD Return: -6% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) continues to see growth as its drugs look to fight common American health conditions. Its blockbuster diabetes drug Januvia, which helps lower blood sugar, accounts for some $4 billion in annual sales and its Zetia cholesterol medication racks up over $2 billion in annual sales.

And it’s not done, either, with a strong product pipeline that includes cancer drug Keytruda. The pipeline could open avenues to much bigger revenue after a very nice showing so far in 2017. The marriage of so-called “maintenance” drugs to provide regular revenue will fuel dividends now, and new drugs could yield continued dividend growth going forward.

With one of the biggest and most stable brands in medicine, this healthcare stock is a great long-term play for dividend investors. The healthcare company has paid consistent dividends since 1970, and is a rock-solid bet for the coming year.

Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Procter & Gamble (PG) Why PG Stock Quietly Became a Buyinvestorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-73×40.jpg 73w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-55×30.jpg 55w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-250×137.jpg 250w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-200×110.jpg 200w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-162×88.jpg 162w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-160×88.jpg 160w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-65×36.jpg 65w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-100×55.jpg 100w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-91×50.jpg 91w,https://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-78×43.jpg 78w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn-170×93.jpg 170w, investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/pgmsn.jpg 728w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr (Modified)
Sector: Consumer staples Market Cap: $1225 billion Yield: 3.1% YTD Return: 6% vs. 17% for the S&P 500

You couldn’t have a list of safe-haven investments without Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG), one of the most reliable consumer names on the planet.

Powered by amazing brands from Dawn dish soap to Gillette shaving products to Crest toothpaste, P&G has its fingerprints all over the typical household. And best of all for low-risk investors, these products will keep selling no matter what the macro picture is like because people still need to clean their bodies and their kitchens regardless of where the S&P is headed.

It also has a consistent commitment to dividends, increasing its payout for the last 60 straight years, and has been generous with those increases to boot; distributions have roughly doubled in the last decade, meaning P&G dividend hikes are in the ballpark of 10% each year.

Yes, shares have been rangebound for a few years now. But a recent proxy fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz has shaken the company awake. And even if the tally in the voting has been disputed by P&G, the message from its investors is crystal clear: pay more attention to the bottom line and to delivering real shareholder value. That should usher in some important changes that help this stock remain dominant as we enter 2018.

As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not have a position in any of the aforemen

Nutanix Inc Stock, Up 25% Before Earnings. Can It Keep Popping Higher?

utanix Inc Stock, Up 25 percent Before Earnings. Can It Keep Popping Higher
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Hyperconverged infrastructure providerNutanix Inc (NASDAQ: NTNX)stock is getting a lot of investor love ahead of its fiscal 2018 first-quarter earnings. Such has been the bullish sentiment, that Nutanix is stock is up25% alone in the month of November which has propelled the stock to a 52 week high. A string of analyst rating upgrades and price target hikes in this month have also helped the cause ofSan Jose, California-based hybrid cloud company shares. With NTNXstock at a 1 year high ahead of earnings, the question is, can the stock keep popping higher post earnings? Is plenty more upside left in Nutanix stock from here?

NTNX-stock-chart

Nutanix Q1-2018 Earnings Wall Street Estimates.

Wall Street expects the Dheeraj Pandey led cloud computing specialist to report a non-GAAP loss per share of 26 cents a share, bettering theloss per share of 37 cents in Q1 2017 by a significant11 cents, near 30% year-over-year (YoY) growth. On the top line front, the analyst consensus is a revenue of $266.9 million, good for a 60%YoY growth. Interestingly, though, the managementrevenue guidance is very conservative, even the high-end revenue estimate also falls below Wall Street consensus. The top management gave a revenue guidance of $240-$250 million and earnings estimate of 37 cents loss per share. With the analyst estimates comparatively much higher, the expectations are very high ahead of earnings and any disappointment could result in the stock giving up some of its massive recent gains.

Nutanix will need more than an earningsbeat to sustain the high valuation.

Nutanix has a strong history of beating analyst estimates in its short public life. The hyperconverged infrastructure provider has delivered a beat on both the top line and bottom line numbers in all the quarters since its IPO. With NTNX stock trading at its highest sales multiple of 7x since going public, an earningsbeat is a must and perhaps would need much more than that to sustain the high valuation. Give the strong earnings history of NTNX stock, an earningsbeat is likely. TheNutanix Q1 earnings whispernumber makes case for much better earnings with aloss per share of just 21 cents, implying 5 cent beat and a massive 16 cents higher than management’s earnings estimates. The guidance again is very vital since the stock is prone to makemassive moves in either directiongoing by the stock price history. In the past post-earnings moves, the guidance played a major role in which direction the stock moved. Analysts expect the company to report a revenue of $282 million for the second quarter.

Key things to watch out for in the earnings release.

Given that the company is still at some distance on the road to profitability, it needs to maintain its strong revenue growth. Once again the company needs to show strong growth in deferred revenue to assure investors about its long-term growth story. The 77% YoY growth indeferred revenue to $526 million in last quarter earnings had outpaced its Q4 revenue growth of 62%. This has also been boosted by the impressive 87% YoY rise in the customer base. The company’s software segment gaining traction has got investors excited since pure software play means higher margins than its core hardware business. Thesoftware only bookings grew by 96% YoY in the fourth quarter forming 17% of the total bookings. The impact of the OEM agreements with IBM (NYSE:IBM) for software and Pure software agreement with Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Hewlett Packard Enterprises (NYSE:HPE) hardware is also likely to be closely watched. With DRAM prices expected to rise further, the increase in software moat could be very much welcomed by the investors.

NTNX-revenue-chart

Bottomline.

The overall market sentiment towards NTNX stock has turned more bullish recently. The short interestdecline in the latest period by further 7.4%, a drop for the consecutive fourth quarter also suggests so. However, the short interest is still very high at 17.5% of the float with days to cover at 6. A strong showing post earnings could result in much higher gains as there is a possibility of a short squeeze. Having said this, investors need to be little cautious as the technical set up is not entirely favorable for Nutanix shares. The NTNX stock technical chart has some bearish signals which could mean the upside from here could be limited. The company shares are in overbought zone as both popular technical indicators Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Bollinger Bands suggest that the stock is heavily overbought. Given the recent run-up in Nutanix shares, and the unfavorable technical set up, the stock will certainly need something more than a beat to continue popping higher.

Nutanix Stock technical chart

Looking for fundamentally better tech stocks than Nutanix? Check out Amigobulls’top stock picksfrom the tech sector, which have beaten the NASDAQ by over 166%. Interested in automotive stock? Then, we also have ourtop picks from the auto sector, which have beaten the S&P 500 by 282%. If you’re a trader though, you should check out ourdaily trading ideas sectionfor daily, free updates on the latest crossovers and other popular technical signals.

Why Cisco Systems, Inc. Stock Is STILL a Safe Bet for Investors

As the internet has matured, so has Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO). And along with that maturity, CSCO stock has continued to be a fairly appealing stock to some investors.

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The market leader in internet routers and switches has become a stable, albeit no-growth, stock. Sales have remained stable for years, at just short of $50 billion, and about 20% of it hits the net income line.

Management has accepted this fate, and Cisco stock has been a reliable dividend payer since 2011, with its payout starting at 6-cents-per-share and rising to 29-cents-per-share and a yield of 3.2% at its Nov. 27 opening bid of about $36.50-per-share.

CSCO stock may never regain its dot-com boom glory, where it briefly touched $80-per-share and Cisco was the world’s most valuable company, but those were different days. Today, Cisco counts victory in different ways.

CSCO Stock: The Company Keeps Winning

While old-line telecom suppliers like Lucent, Alcatel and Siemens have gone away, replaced by competitors like Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) and China’s Huawei Technologies, Cisco has kept strong, and now defines telecommunications in the internet age.

The good news is this should continue to be the case. The latest quarterly market report from Synergy Research Group shows Cisco is maintaining its share of the market, which is the “lion’s share,” about 50%. In the third quarter this ticked up slightly, to 51%.

This is no small feat for CSCO stock. The market was worth $11 billion in the last quarter, $44 billion in the last year, and it is continuing to grow, albeit at 3%-per-year. China resists American products, even those from Cisco, and cloud providers like do-it-yourself solutions. But Cisco continues to grow.

In the largest market segment, which is Ethernet switching, and in the largest market, which is North America, Cisco is especially strong, with almost 60% of the market.

Sticking to your knitting pays dividends.

Next Page

Cisco Stock: There’s Growth in Software

Over the last two decades, CSCO has tried to diversify away from what is now a legacy business, and get into new markets. It briefly tried to become a consumer brand with WiFi routers, buying Linksys, but it sold that business in 2013.

Chuck Robbins inherited the CEO chair from the legendary John Chambers in 2015, and he has sought growth in cloud infrastructure and support software. During the most recent quarter, 32% of revenue came from software subscriptions.

This does put CSCO stock in the crosshairs of powerful competitors, like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Cisco has thus focused on niches like artificial intelligence and security. For now, analysts are buying its story, with more saying buy Cisco stock than anything else, and none saying sell.

But while CSCO stock remains a Wall Street darling, it’s not a market beater. While the NASDAQ Composite is up 132% in the last five years, Cisco stock is up just 94%.

Investors have kept themselves warm with a doubling of the dividend during that time. An income investor who bought Cisco stock in late 2012, when it was trading at under $20-per-share, is now getting a very nice yield on that investment, $1.17 in dividends representing a fat 6% yield, covered twice over by income and cash flow.

Bottom Line on CSCO

A market has traders, speculators and investors, each with a different aim.

CSCO stock is for investors. It won’t make you rich, but it will hold its value, in thin times and flush. It won’t deliver huge capital gains, but Cisco stock does deliver steady income. As America’s baby boomers age from work into retirement, from searching for capital gains to cash, that’s going to be appreciated.

CSCO stock is a buy and a hold.

Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the historical mystery romance The Reluctant Detective Travels in Time, available now at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at danablankenhorn@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing, he owned shares in MSFT.