Current Dividend Yield: 4.6%
Performance So Far in 2012: +9%
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has been labeled a sleepy telecom stock, but not in recent months. After being in the red this spring, VZ shares popped 13% since April to put this communications company actually ahead of the broader Dow Jones index. That was because of some decent numbers, but mostly thanks to a massive demand for yield on Wall Street.
Big-picture, Verizon is one of the most secure plays out there. It remains the leading wireless telecom provider in the U.S. by subscriptions and gets 50% of its revenue from wireless subscribers. The company also is one of the top high-speed Internet providers in America via its FiOS fiber optic network. As the world becomes increasingly wired, it’s more important than ever for companies like Verizon to be involved with the operations of businesses and the lives of regular Americans.
This provides a very stable revenue stream that accounts for huge dividends. Like many low-risk dividend stocks, this is a double-edged sword because there might not be any huge growth opportunities for the entrenched telecom. But strong cash flow generation and the lack of any real competition from anyone other than AT&T (NYSE:T) means this telecom stock is a stalwart that’s here to stay.