Dividend Yield: 3.3%
The company is relatively new to dividend payouts compared to the other stocks on this list, having started in 2003 with an 8-cent quarterly payout — but it’s now paying nearly triple that in a decade’s time.
Yes, the stock has languished for nearly a decade and people love to bash Microsoft as “dead money,” but MSFT isn’t going anywhere. Its enjoys 95% market share in productivity software (Office), 75% of all operating systems in use, and a nearly 75% share of of the server software market, according to Forbes. The competition is rough, but an install base that is hard to crack gives Microsoft the opportunity to keep improving search engine product Bing and put its Xbox video game console in the center of more households.
Plus, Microsoft sits on one heck of a cushion — $68 billion in cash and generates billions more in free cash flow every quarter. Thus, MSFT should not only be paying that dividend for a long time, but it should have plenty of ammo for increases over time. Considering the yield already sits at a healthy 3.3%, that should be music to retirees’ ears.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long MSFT.