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Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy Now

Blue chips Lockheed and RAI make list beside cinemas and small-cap manufacturers

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More Than Just Big Yields

money in the handsFinding the best high-yield dividend stocks is no easy task. Zeroing in on companies with high dividends is only part of the equation, because those dividends need to be sustainable. And once you find a high dividend yield that is sustainable, you have to make sure the stock is going to be able to at least track the market and not offset its dividends with a slumping share price.

So which dividend stocks provide more than just a big headline yield? Well, I’ve made a list of 10, but more importantly, I’ve crafted a checklist of five items you should focus on when making a dividend stock investment:

1. Good Dividend History: A decent dividend increase in the last year.
2. Big Dividends Now: A current yield of at least 3.5%.
3. Potential for Dividend Growth: Considerable dividend growth projected over the next few years.
4. Solid Stock Performance: Share performance that has at least tracked the market over the past 12 months.
5. Strong Outlook for Shares: A compelling reason to think the stock will continue to perform.

Based on these benchmarks, here’s my list of the top 10 dividend stocks to buy now: Cinemark (NYSE: CNK), Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB), National CineMedia (NASDAQ: NCMI), Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI), SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG), Sinclair Broadcasting Group (NASDAQ: SBGI), TAL International (NYSE: TAL) and Unisource Energy (NYSE: UNS).

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