Dividend Yield: 5.4%
No one should be stunned that a telecom stock made this list.
AT&T (T) — the company behind America’s largest and fastest 4G network — is sitting just less than flat for the year, but share appreciation isn’t AT&T’s featured act. No, it’s AT&T’s dividend — a 45-cent-per-share payout that sets its yield well north of 5%.
AT&T has been paying a dividend since 1984, when it shelled out 12 cents a quarter to shareholders. That payout has more than tripled since then, and it’s 67% better in the past decade. So not only is AT&T also among InvestorPlace’s Dependable Dividend Stocks — it’s the list’s second-highest yielder.
The payout itself has rock-solid backing of $4.5 billion in cash as of the end of Q2, not to mention $8 billion in free cash flow generated in the year’s first half alone.
Also, don’t worry about AT&T’s dividend stream being used just to offset stock losses in the future. AT&T might not see huge growth, but it’ll see something, considering the demand for broadband and wireless services continues to grow. In the most recent quarter alone, AT&T added 2 million new wireless and wireline high-speed broadband connections, plus the company recently bought Leap Wireless (LEAP) for $1.2 billion to add spectrum and prepaid customers.