Current Dividend Yield: 5.9%
Year-to-Date Performance: -2%
AT&T (NYSE:T) is the biggest dividend payer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as measured by current annualized payout and stock valuation. With a dividend yield of about 6%, this is a heck of an income play. After all, 10-year T-Notes are around 2.2% — about a third of AT&T’s dividend yield. The proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile has hit a snag as opposition has mounted among consumer groups and certain members of Congress. But if the deal manages to squeak through, it could be a huge boon to AT&T as it leapfrogs Verizon to become the No. 1 cell phone service provider in the nation. Red-hot growth might not be ahead, but AT&T is a stable company with a great dividend that’s not going anywhere. That’s the kind of investment many investors are impressed with after a volatile 2011.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.