#5: Johnson & Johnson
Current Dividend Yield: 3.6%
Performance So Far in 2012: +3%
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has raised distributions for 50 years in a row and has a 10-year dividend growth rate of 12.4% per year — making it one of the most reliable payers on Wall Street.
Of course, J&J stock hasn’t been a hit lately. Since the recession, the company has hit some headwinds thanks to quality control issues, product recalls and questions about management. But a new Johnson & Johnson CEO at the helm is changing things and hoping to change all that in the months ahead.
A plus while you wait is the nice 3.6% dividends. And unlike some big pharma stocks that pay nice yields but might be gutted by patent expirations, JNJ consumer health offerings like Band-Aid and Tylenol provide its steadiest revenue stream beyond vaccines and prescription medical products.
Revenue admittedly has been a bit stagnant at J&J during the past few years; hence, the stock has seen some underperformance. But even on reduced projections, Johnson & Johnson could see a stunning 45% jump in earnings per share for fiscal 2012 compared with fiscal 2011. Time will tell if management can hit those targets, but in the meantime the dividend is a pretty nice hedge — even if the stock moves sideways.