Current Dividend Yield: 5.3%
Performance So Far in 2012: 2%
One of the biggest stories in 2011, as previously mentioned, was that AT&T (NYSE:T) tried to leapfrog rival Verizon (NYSE:VZ) in the wireless market via a buyout of T-Mobile. But regulators ran interference, and AT&T abandoned its bid. Don’t think that means the biggest dividend payer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average should be cut loose from your portfolio, though. With a dividend yield of about 5.3%, this is a heck of an income play.
The story is the same for AT&T as Verizon, where a strong balance sheet and its entrenched status is offset by the lack of growth and the highly regulated nature of the telecom sector (case in point: the squashed T-Mobile bid). AT&T delivered pretty strong first-quarter earnings, though, so it’s not like this company is completely stagnant.
Admittedly, these U.S. telecoms aren’t “growthy” and won’t deliver massive share appreciation. But if you’re looking for a big dividend payer that will keep throwing off cash for decades, AT&T might be your best bet in the whole Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at editor@investorplace??.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.