Current Yield: 2.7%
We’ll start with that most mundane of American retailers, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).
Wal-Mart is about as dull as it gets as a company. It’s the world’s largest retailer of the basic “stuff” of modern life — everything from food to build-it-yourself furniture.
But Wal-Mart also happens to be a dividend-growing dynamo. In 2002, just 10 years ago, Wal-Mart paid 7.5 cents per quarter in dividends. Today, it pays 39.8 cents — an increase of more than fivefold.
With Wal-Mart’s domestic expansion slowing in the years ahead (and thus needing less cash for investment), I expect the company to continue aggressively raising its dividend. The stock currently yields an attractive 2.7%, which is substantially more than what most bonds pay.