Top Dividend Stocks #2: Verizon (VZ)
Dividend Yield: 4.51%
YTD Performance: -4.15%
52-Week Return: +9.40%
The runner up on our list of top dividend stocks is Verizon (VZ).
The company announced last week that it had completed its acquisition of Vodafone’s (VOD) 45% stake in Verizon Wireless in deal worth approximately $130 billion. Shareholders of both companies approved the transaction last month, and as was previously announced, the acquisition should make for an increase in VZ’s future earnings by about 10%.
When the deal was first announced last April, VZ stock shot up to a new 52-week high of $54.31. Since then, investor enthusiasm about the deal has dwindled and the stock has come in by more than 10%, providing for a very attractive entry point. Moreover, the drop in share price has inflated VZ’s dividend yield, which now stands at 4.45%, making it No. 2 among dividend stocks for February.
Verizon has been steadily increasing its dividend for seven consecutive years, and the current annual payout now stands at $2.12 per share. Despite the recent setback, VZ carries a P/E ratio of 13.8, and with a forecasted 2014 growth rate of 22.5%, you can feel comfortable adding this high-yielder to your portfolio at current levels.