Building a nest egg takes time, and part of its care and feeding is the oldest line in the investment book: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Sound advice now and for the future. Finding stocks that have paid dividends virtually forever like Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is great, but after the most recent stock market run-up, investors are a little leery of some of the sky-high prices these champions want for your share of wallet.
How about if we expand our vision out to some strong dividend players, each in different market segments, none over $40 per share and all with solid dividend yields that well exceed the boredom of Treasuries?
Putting your money to work with these players will provide long-term dividend benefits at what might be considered certainly reasonable prices, if not bargains.
If the success Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 is any indication of profitable days ahead, then AT&T (NYSE:T) should be getting ready for a party as one of this red-hot product’s primary sellers. But it actually gets even better because AT&T has also hooked into the success of Amazon‘s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet through its 4G LTE wireless service, which is bundled into some of the tablets. It’s also available for Apple’s iPad.
All of which is a way to say that AT&T is right in the middle of the wireless and mobile revolution, playing on all sides of the street with all the major players. InvestorPlace Chief Technical Analyst Sam Collins has taken notice and is a big fan of AT&T. A recent downturn in the stock makes it available at less than $40 per share. What do you get for your money? Well how about 44 cents per share quarterly and a nearly 5% dividend yield!
There really isn’t too much more to say about the Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) poster child and long-term dividend investment leader Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). KO’s recent 2-for-1 split gave anyone who’s missed a chance to get in at a fair price of under $40 per share (and yes, 20 times earnings for these guys is fair) and a fresh chance at a 25 cents per share quarterly dividend.
KO has paid a dividend since 1893 and has the world’s largest distribution system, with consumers in nearly 200 countries guzzling Coca-Cola’s products at a rate of more than 1 billion servings each day. Don’t expect that dividend history to change.
I’m getting more and more pleased with GE (NYSE:GE), which I bought earlier this year on a hunch that has panned out fairly well to date. The company is now enjoying the benefits of an upstream dividend from a leaner, meaner GE Capital group, and is able to pass that cash along to investors since GE has gotten out from under the TARP umbrella. More important, while recent earnings reports are mixed, GE’s overall business picture is picking up very nicely.
The company also just opened up a relationship with Brazil-based Petrobras to manufacture wellheads, and continued bumps to its 17 cents per share dividend, which currently yields 3%, look likely. All for a price under $25 per share today.
I know, I know….not a lot of love from many analysts on Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), but really I don’t see why not. A recent conversation among my InvestorPlace colleagues focused on tech companies that need something someone else has, for instance, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) needing Yahoo‘s (NASDAQ:YHOO) original content and Yahoo needing Microsoft’s money. But Intel has the ability to control the chip market, so it doesn’t really need a partner to fill any gaps.
Intel started the early warnings on earnings for the remainder of the year, and it got punished. But that whacking to just over $23 a share makes for a fairly tasty price for a stock that yields over 3%, has been a consistent dividend payer since 1992 with increases in each year and has more room to run.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is a stock that’s in the news not because it’s one of the steadiest dividend payers on the planet, but because shareholders want even more bang for their buck. What’s interesting is that in its latest quarter, Pfizer beat Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines, but it’s still trying to figure out how to make up for lost Lipitor revenues. One of its best-selling products, Lipitor is now out of its patent protection and has generic competition.
What Pfizer is doing to balance the scales is lots of cost-cutting and looking to sell segments that don’t necessarily fit the core business, like its animal health division Zoetis, which will be spun off entirely. Health care is a hot industry with lots of upside potential, so look for Pfizer to work on that 22 cents per share dividend, which now yields well in excess of 3%. It’s a nice little bargain for $25 per share.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he was long AAPL, XOM, JNJ, MSFT, GE, and INTC.