Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy Now

by Jeff Reeves | May 20, 2011 12:01 am

Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy Now

More Than Just Big Yields

3381885 money in the hands e1283372289994 Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowFinding 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[1]), Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG[2]), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT[3]), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB[4]), National CineMedia (NASDAQ: NCMI[5]), Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI[6]), SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG[7]), Sinclair Broadcasting Group (NASDAQ: SBGI[8]), TAL International (NYSE: TAL[9]) and Unisource Energy (NYSE: UNS[10]).

Dividend Stock #1 Cinemark (CNK)

cnk Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowCinemark Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CNK[1]) owns movies theaters across the United States and Latin America, with a total of about 5,000 screens in America alone.

Dividend Stock #2 Leggett & Platt (LEG)

leg Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowFounded in 1883, Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG[2]) designs and manufactures a wide range of products used in items from home furnishings to automobile interiors to wires and tubing for industrial use.

Dividend Stock #3 Lockheed Martin (LMT)

LockheedMartinLogo e1305045062401 Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy Now

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT[3]) is America’s premiere aerospace and defense company, and consistently ranks at or near No. 1 in the list of U.S. federal contractors.

Dividend Stock #4 Kimberly-Clark (KMB)

kmb Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowKimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB[4]) is a paper products giant, best known for brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies and Kotex. It sells products in more than 150 countries.

Dividend Stock #5 National CineMedia (NCMI)

ncmi Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowNational CineMedia (NASDAQ: NCMI[5]) is a massive in-theatre advertising network across North America, serving ads on screen and throughout cinema properties that reach almost 18,000 movie screens.

Dividend Stock #6 Reynolds American (RAI)

ReynoldsAmerican Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowReynolds American (NYSE: RAI[6]) is the tobacco giant behind such iconic brands as Winston, Camel and Kool cigarettes.

Dividend Stock #7 SCANA Corp. (SCG)

scg Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowSCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG[7]) is a regional utility serving over 300,000 customers in South Carolina.

Dividend Stock #8 Sinclair Broadcasting (SBGI)

sbgi Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowSinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: SBGI[8]) is a television station owner that serves 35 markets across the United States.

Dividend Stock #9 TAL International (TAL)

tal Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowTAL International Group (NYSE: TAL[9]) sells and leases storage and shipping gear to freight companies, including containers and chassis for trucks. TAL has 1 million 20-foot equivalent units of dry cargo, refrigerated and specialized containers.

Dividend Stock #10 Unisource Energy (UNS)

uns Top 10 Dividend Stocks to Buy NowUnisource Energy (NYSE: UNS[10]) is an energy utility based in Arizona that provides gas and electric service in the Southwest across some 1,200 square miles.

Jeff Reeves is editor of InvestorPlace.com. Follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook.

Endnotes:
  1. CNK: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=CNK
  2. LEG: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=LEG
  3. LMT: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=LMT
  4. KMB: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=KMB
  5. NCMI: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=NCMI
  6. RAI: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=RAI
  7. SCG: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SCG
  8. SBGI: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SBGI
  9. TAL: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=TAL
  10. UNS: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=UNS

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