Great dividend stocks are sporting higher yields than they have in years thanks to the market selloff in 2022. That has pushed the number of high-dividend stocks ever higher, and for income-focused investors, this is a great opportunity to pick up strong dividend stocks at a discount.
However, not all dividend stocks are created equal, and we tend to favor those with demonstrated histories of raising payouts through good times and bad. This signifies recession resistance, but also the willingness of management to commit to rising shareholder returns over time.
In this article, we’ll take a look at three high-yield dividend stocks we like that have all boosted their payouts for at least 10 years.
Dividend Stocks: Verizon Communications (VZ)
Our first high-dividend stock is Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which is a telecommunications and wireless service conglomerate based in the U.S. The company offers prepaid and postpaid wireless plans to consumers and businesses, broadband internet access, hardware sales – such as tablets, phones, and notebooks – and more.
The company was founded in 1983 and has gone through mergers and divestitures through the years, and today it produces about $137 billion in annual revenue. It also trades with a substantial $212 billion market cap.
Verizon is currently sporting a 17-year history of consecutive dividend increases, a period which encompasses the global financial crisis and the Covid-19 recession. Despite Verizon being a consumer-facing company with its core wireless business, it has managed to continue to raise the payout through difficult economic periods.
The reason is because the company operates essentially like a utility, meaning demand is fairly predictable, and thus, revenue and earnings are as well. We see modest 4% annual growth in earnings ahead, but that should be plenty to continue the company’s streak of dividend increases.
We’re expecting 2% annual dividend growth in the years to come, as the company’s limited growth potential means increases are generally small.
The good news is that the current payout ratio is under half of earnings, so even in the event of an earnings decline for Verizon, we believe the payout would not only be safe, but could continue to grow as well. The modest increases the company has put through in recent years have kept a lid on the payout ratio, which has improved dividend safety.
Despite these modest increases, Verizon still yields 5% today, roughly tripling that of the S&P 500. Verizon has long been a high-yield, income-focused stock, and it is firmly in that camp today.
W.P. Carey (WPC)
Our next dividend stock is W.P. Carey (NYSE:WPC), which is one of the largest net lease REITs in the U.S. The real estate investment trust has a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate that includes more than 1,200 net lease properties covering 142 million square feet. Carey has an operating history of half a century, and has refined its process for investing in high-quality single-tenant industrial, warehouse, office, self-storage and retail space with built-in rent escalations.
The trust produces about $1.4 billion in annual revenue, and trades with a market cap of $16 billion, making it a sizable player in what is a highly fragmented REIT market.
Carey’s dividend streak stands at a very impressive 25 consecutive years, which is strong on an absolute basis. However, when we consider how cyclical REITs tend to be, Carey stands out above the crowd in terms of dividend longevity. We see this as an extremely attractive trait in a sector of the market that tends to see high yields, but relatively poor dividend safety.
We expect Carey to grow at 3.5% annually in the years to come, which should provide enough capital to continue the dividend increase streak indefinitely. Like Verizon, we’re expecting just 2% dividend growth in the years to come, which is typical for REITs that have very high payout ratios.
Carey’s payout ratio is in excess of 80% for this year, which is high by any measure. However, REITs must return substantially all of their earnings to shareholders via dividends by law, so high payout ratios are the norm. We don’t see any risk to the payout given the trust’s current earnings trajectory, but it is something to keep in mind.
Carey’s yield is similar to Verizon’s at 5.1%, again triple that of the S&P 500 for income-focused investors.
Dividend Stocks: LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (LYB)
Our final stock is LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB), a chemical company that is based in the U.S., but operates globally. The company produces a wide variety of differing types of chemicals, for a long list of uses. It also refines crude oil into various types of gasoline and distillates, in addition to its chemicals business.
The company’s history can be traced to 1955, and today, it generates $52 billion in annual revenue, and trades with a market cap of $28 billion.
LyondellBasell’s dividend increase streak currently stands at 11 years, corresponding to when the chemicals giant began paying dividends to shareholders. Thus, we don’t see this relatively shorter streak as a sign of dividend weakness.
LyondellBasell is seeing massive, unsustainable earnings this year, building upon last year’s bumper earnings. As a result, we are expecting 0% annual growth, simply because the base of earnings this year is so high. We believe in the company’s long-term prospects, but earnings nearly quadrupled from 2020 to 2021, so there was significant demand pulled forward.
On the plus side, we see 6% dividend growth from here, so the stock offers not only a strong yield, but terrific dividend growth prospects as well.
Because of the surplus earnings, the payout ratio is currently very low at just 27% of earnings. We expect that number to rise as the dividend grows more quickly than earnings, but we see the dividend as extremely safe today, and for the foreseeable future.
LyondellBasell also offers the best yield of the group, coming in at 5.3%. Thus, for dividend safety and a high yield, this one is tough to beat.
While the selling of 2022 has been tough to handle for many investors, for those looking to pick up high-quality dividend stocks, it has presented great opportunities to buy. We like stocks with strong dividend longevity, and we see Verizon, W.P. Carey, and LyondellBasell as having demonstrated this longevity, while also offering yields in excess of 5%.
On the date of publication, Bob Ciura did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.