Current Dividend Yield: 3.6%
Performance So Far in 2012: -4%
Worried about expensive gas? Don’t be. Crude oil has rolled back slightly from its 2012 high of around $111 a barrel — into the low $80s as of this writing — and is challenging lows not seen since October of last year.
So it’s no surprise that amid weaker prices and pretty flat demand, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) hasn’t done well lately. CVX stock actually is in the red in 2012 vs. gains for the broader market. Recent oil stock earnings show that refining continues to be a bit of a drag in the short term for Chevron and other oil majors.
But on the income side, Chevron has strength that is difficult to overlook. The company has paid dividends since 1912. It has increased its payouts twice in the last year, from 72 cents quarterly in March 2011 to 78 cents in June, then up again to 81 cents as of December 2011.
And while crude oil prices have rolled back, let’s not pretend we’re going to get back to $50 per barrel anytime soon, with geopolitical unrest in the Middle East and hungry emerging markets like China and Brazil increasing energy demand at an impressive clip despite risks of a broader economic slowdown. If you’re a dividend investor looking for a low-risk stock with a reliable revenue stream that ensures juicy payouts, Chevron certainly is worth looking into.