34 Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy
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The top high dividend stocks to buy are mostly dividend aristocrats.
Companies in the S&P 500 Index that have increased their dividend payouts for at least 25 years straight are known as Dividend Aristocrats.
The companies on this list of the top S&P 500 dividend stocks include both well-known companies and less well-known ones, but they all have significant economic impact on the United States.
And despite being dispersed across pretty much every market segment, they all have one thing in common: a dedication to dependable and sustained dividend growth.
Listed below are 34 S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats. If you want to start adding dividend battleships to your long-term portfolios, the names below have consistently ranked among the best dividend stocks for income growth.
34 Top High Dividend Stocks To Buy
1. Air Products & Chemicals (APD)
The past few years have been largely devoted to restructuring at Air Products & Chemicals (APD). Under pressure from investors, it started to trim some fat, selling the Performance Materials company and spinning off the Electronic Materials division.
Air Products, which was founded in 1940, is now a leaner organization that is once again concentrating on its historic industrial gases business. Nevertheless, it hasn’t let its attention stray from the dividend, which it has increased every year for the past 40 years. In February 2022, the price will increase by 8% to $1.62 per share.
2. Aflac (AFL)
With roots dating back to 1955, Aflac (AFL) is a supplemental insurance provider that offers many workplace benefits like accident, short-term disability, and life insurance. It is best known for its obnoxious Aflac duck.
The market’s confidence in AFL’s dividend helped the stock recover to pre-crash levels by early 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic crippling the insurance sector. And that confidence is well-founded thanks to a conservative payout ratio and almost four decades in a row of dividend growth.
When Aflac last increased its dividend in November 2021, the quarterly distribution was increased by 21.2% to 40 cents per share.
3. Albemarle (ALB)
One of the top high dividend stocks to buy is ALB. The most recent dividend increase by Albemarle (ALB), a manufacturer of specialty chemicals including lithium, was in February 2022, when it increased by 1.3% to 39.5 cents per share quarterly.
Albemarle’s products operate completely in the background, but its chemicals are used in a variety of sectors, including clean-fuel technologies, pharmaceuticals, and fire safety. However, lithium is what the bull case is all about.
According to CFRA Research, the adoption of electric vehicles is what is driving ALB. We think there is more upside risk for this trend to pick up speed in the US under a Blue Wave.
4. Amcor (AMCR)
Amcor (AMCR) is a rather uninteresting business. It creates, produces, and markets a wide range of packaging goods for every imaginable industry, including food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, home, and personal care.
However, there are times when monotonous can be lovely, as is the case with Amcor when it comes to dependable income. After purchasing Bemis in June, it was added to the list of dividend stocks with rising payouts at the beginning of 2020.
By virtue of its merger with Amcor, Bemis, which left the S&P 500 Index and consequently the Aristocrats in 2014, has returned.
When the company last increased its dividend, it was by 2.1% to 12 cents per share in November 2021. Over the following three to five years, analysts anticipate that the company will increase earnings per share on average annually by 5.3%.
5. Atmos Energy (ATO)
One of the top high dividend stocks to buy is ATO.
The Dividend Aristocrats officially welcomed Atmos Energy (ATO), a company that distributes and stores natural gas, in January 2020. More than 1,400 communities in eight states, including Texas and Louisiana, are served by the Dallas-based company’s more than 3 million distribution customers.
The strong fundamentals of ATO and rising U.S. natural gas demand are cited by analysts who are generally bullish on the name. The stock is also advised because of its strong balance sheet and potential for above-average earnings growth.
With the announcement of an 8.8% increase to 68 cents per share per quarter in November 2021, Atmos officially completed 35 years of dividend growth.
6. A.O. Smith (AOS)
Manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters A.O. Smith (AOS) joined the Dividend Aristocrats in 2018, making it a relatively recent member of the group.
It announced in October 2021 that it would increase its quarterly payout by 7.7% to 28 cents per share. For the industrial company, that year marked the 29th year in a row of dividend increases.
As a result, AOS’ dividend has experienced a five-year compound annual growth rate of more than 17%. While exceeding 158% over the past five years, the annualized dividend growth rate.
Investors can rely on AOS to continue raising its dividend because it generates a lot of free cash flow and has a payout ratio that is below average.
7. Brown-Forman (BF.B)
BF.B is one of the top high dividend stocks to buy.
One of the biggest alcohol producers and distributors in the world is Brown-Forman (BF.B). Some of its most well-known brands include Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey and Finlandia vodka, with the former contributing to steady growth.
With the publicly traded BF.B shares, you won’t have a say in corporate matters, unlike many of the best dividend stocks on this list. They are not eligible to vote. Additionally, the Brown family owns the majority of the voting class A shares.
You can nevertheless benefit from the company’s profits and dividends. That payout has increased for 38 years running and has been given without fail for 78 years. Most recently, in November 2021, Brown-Forman increased the quarterly ante by 5% to 18.85 cents per share.
8. Brown & Brown (BRO)
Although Brown & Brown (BRO) has been in business since 1939 and provides insurance brokerage services to both consumers and businesses, its stock wasn’t included in the S&P 500 until 2021.
BRO’s inclusion in the primary benchmark for U.S. equity performance, fortunately, also opened the door to the Dividend Aristocrats, which is good news for long-term dividend growth investors.
Thanks to Brown & Brown’s nearly three-decade-long streak of annual dividend increases, it was included in the exclusive list of equity income stalwarts in 2022.
The most recent increase for BRO was announced in October 2021, bringing the quarterly distribution up by 10.8% to 10.25 cents per share.
9. Cardinal Health (CAH)
Cardinal Health (CAH), a wholesale distributor of drugs and medical equipment, grew into the behemoth it is today thanks to a steady stream of acquisitions. Early 2021 saw the closing of its most recent acquisition, a $2.2 billion all-stock deal for Bindley Western Industries.
Due to patients delaying elective surgeries during the pandemic, CAH experienced difficulties similar to the rest of the medical device industry. However, the company was still able to produce a sizable amount of free cash flow, which supports the dividend increases.
Indeed, for 36 years and counting, Cardinal Health has increased its annual payout. The last time The Aristocrat increased its payout was in May 2022, when it announced a 1% increase in the quarterly dividend to 49.57 cents per share.
10. Caterpillar (CAT)
In January 2019, Caterpillar (CAT), the largest producer of industrial machinery for mining and heavy construction, was added to the Dividend Aristocrats.
Since 1933, CAT has consistently paid a dividend and, for the past 28 years, has increased its payout. The most recent dividend increase was by 8% to $1.20 quarterly in June 2022, according to the company.
CAT easily meets the criteria for the best dividend stocks, which have sufficient free cash flow to cover the dividend. CAT had free cash flow after debt payments for the 12 months ended March 31, 2022, which was $4.8 billion after paying out $2.4 billion in dividends.
11. Chevron (CVX)
One of the top high dividend stocks to buy is Chevron (CVX). The integrated oil giant Chevron also engages in the production of natural gas and geothermal energy. Additionally, it is the only energy-related company among the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Chevron is praised by analysts for having the strongest financial foundation in its peer group, the most alluring asset portfolio, and the “most simply positive risk/reward profile” of any stock in its sector.
The fact that CVX has experienced uninterrupted dividend growth for more than three decades and that management has vowed to protect the payout at all costs may be of particular significance to income investors. The most recent increase for Chevron was a 6% increase in the quarterly dividend to $1.42 per share, which was announced in January 2022.
12. Chubb (CB)
The Dividend Aristocrats included Chubb (CB) in January 2019. In February 2022, the insurance company increased its payout by 3.8% to 83 cents per share per quarter. Chubb achieved its 29th year in a row of dividend growth with that decision.
Chubb, the biggest publicly traded property and casualty insurer in the world, has operations in 54 nations and territories. Although it’s not the most interesting subject for dinner conversation, it is a successful business that sustains a long-running dividend.
Additionally, Chubb’s consistent dividend increases add up over time. As a matter of fact, the insurer has a 20-year annualized dividend growth rate of 134%.
13. Church & Dwight (CHD)
Although many retail investors may not be familiar with the consumer goods company Church & Dwight (CHD), they are undoubtedly aware of many of its products. Among the many well-known brands it has, Arm & Hammer, OxiClean, and Waterpik are just three examples.
Today, Church & Dwight, which was established in 1846, is the country’s top producer of baking soda. At the end of 2015, its stock was included in the S&P 500 index.
The most recent increase, a 4% increase to the quarterly payout to 26.25 cents per share, occurred in January 2022.
14. Cintas (CTAS)
Cintas is one of the top high dividend stocks to buy. Although Cintas (CTAS) is best known for its corporate uniforms, the business also provides compliance training, tile and carpet cleaning services, and maintenance supplies.
As a result, it tends to advance ahead of any increase in hiring during an economic recovery and is viewed by some investors as a wager on the growth of jobs. In fact, CTAS has historically performed fairly well as a substitute for employment.
Cintas is a constant among the best dividend stocks, regardless of how the labor market is faring. Since going public in 1983, the company has increased its payout every single year. But up until this year, the company had been making annual distributions; now, it is making quarterly payments.
The most recent increase to CTAS’s quarterly dividend was a 21.1% increase to $1.15 per share in July 2022.
15. Clorox (CLX)
The long-term total returns of Clorox (CLX), whose brands include its name-brand bleaches and cleaners, Glad trash bags, and Hidden Valley salad dressing, won’t astound investors.
Instead, the focus of this household goods behemoth is on dividends and defense. Indeed, Clorox has been able to increase its annual dividend for more than 40 years due to the dependable and defensive nature of its business. The most recent increase was a 2% increase to $1.18 per share per quarter in July 2022.
With a respectable payout ratio and significant free cash flow, CLX should be able to sustain a dividend increase for the 46th consecutive year in 2023.
16. Ecolab (ECL)
For a number of industries, including the food, healthcare, and oil and gas, Ecolab (ECL) offers water treatment and other industrial-scale maintenance services. From offshore oil production to electronics polishing to industrial laundries, its products help optimize everything practically.
However, as industrial needs change, Ecolab’s fortunes may suffer. For instance, ECL will suffer when energy companies cut spending.
The shares of this Dividend Aristocrat have, however, consistently outperformed over the long term. The stock has produced total returns that have outperformed the market over the last five, ten, and fifteen years. That’s due in large part to the dividend increases over the previous 30 years. The most recent increase for ECL was a 6% increase in the quarterly payment to 51 cents per share in December 2021.
17. Expeditors International of Washington (EXPD)
One of the top high dividend stocks to buy is EXPD. In January 2020, Expeditors International of Washington (EXPD) joined the Aristocrats. In May 2022, the logistics company increased its semi-annual dividend for the last time from 58 cents per share to 67 cents per share.
The last few years have been difficult for the transportation business. During the previous presidential administration, trade frictions between the U.S. and China severely harmed EXPD. Additionally, COVID-19 has hampered ocean container shipments and airfreight tonnage volumes.
But despite everything, EXPD has remained dedicated to its semi-annual dividend, which it has increased yearly for more than 25 years. The company should have enough resources to continue the streak and keep its place on a list of the best dividend stocks thanks to a consistently low payout ratio.
18. Essex Property Trust (ESS)
Essex Property Trust (ESS), a real estate investment trust (REIT) that was included in the Dividend Aristocrats in 2020, primarily invests in apartments on the West Coast.
The REIT went public in 1994, and since then, it has increased its payout. When ESS raised the quarterly dividend by 5.3% to $2.20 per share in February 2022, it was the most recent increase.
Essex has a 10-year annualized dividend growth rate of 101% thanks to its regular and generous dividend increases. The business’s annualized dividend growth rate over a 20-year period approaches 200%.
19. Exxon Mobil (XOM)
One of the biggest energy companies in the world and the largest oil company in the United States by market value is Exxon Mobil (XOM). In August 2020, it was eliminated from the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average, and in January, it is most likely to be eliminated from the Dividend Aristocrats.
Since 1882, this dividend stalwart and several of its forerunners have made continuous distributions. To its credit, XOM was one of the few energy firms that didn’t reduce or halt its payout during the oil price collapse brought on by the pandemic.
It did, however, stop the dividend growth.
In spite of the COVID-19 crisis, the quarterly distribution for the Dow component remained constant in 2020. A 1.1% increase in the dividend in October 2021, however, ensured that XOM will have an annual payout that is slightly higher than in 2020 and will therefore remain in the club as membership in the Dividend Aristocrats is based on consecutive increases to the annual payout.
20. Franklin Resources (BEN)
One of the top high dividend stocks to buy is BEN. Investors may not be familiar with Franklin Resources (BEN), but it is included in the more well-known Franklin Templeton investments along with its subsidiaries.
With $1.53 trillion in assets under management, the global investment company is one of the biggest in the world and is well-known for its bond funds among other products.
Customers are choosing indexed investments over traditional stock pickers, putting pressure on mutual fund providers. Franklin has recently retaliated, though, by introducing its first lineup of passive exchange-traded funds.
The asset manager is still appealing to investors looking for the best dividend stocks as a source of income in the interim. Since 1981, it has increased its dividend every year. The most recent increase, a 3.6% increase to 29 cents per share quarterly, was announced in December 2021.
21. General Dynamics (GD)
General Dynamics (GD), a provider of defense services, joined the elite group of best dividend stocks for growth in 2017, making it one of the more recent members of the Dividend Aristocrats.
The consistent flow of cash distributed to shareholders of this dividend stock has been fueled by generous military spending. In fact, General Dynamics has increased its distribution for the past thirty years.
When GD announced its most recent increase in March 2022, it increased the quarterly dividend by 5.9% to $1.26 per share. With a payout ratio of 34% that is below average, General Dynamics should have room to increase its dividend further.
22. International Business Machines (IBM)
The reputation of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s (DJIA) International Business Machines (IBM) isn’t as high as it once was. Since at least a decade, the company’s revenue has been steadily declining due to its also-ran status in key growth sectors like social, mobile, analytics, and the cloud infrastructure business.
Big Blue has nevertheless been a dividend stalwart despite all of its stumbles and slips; in January 2021, it was admitted to the Dividend Aristocrats.
The IBM quarterly dividend increased by a penny to $1.65 per share in April 2022, marking the 27th year in a row that it has increased. In every quarter since 1916, IBM has paid dividends. You should look for this quality in the best dividend stocks, and it is important to note that the company has the resources to maintain the growth streak.
23. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
JNJ is one of the top high dividend stocks to buy. The excellent brand Johnson & Johnson owns and produces goods that people need, particularly healthcare products.
Johnson & Johnson has a sizable and consistently profitable pharmaceuticals and medical device business in addition to its well-known consumer brands like Band-Aid, Neutrogena, Tylenol, Zyrtec, Benadryl, and Johnson’s (among others), which together have allowed the company to increase its dividend for 60 years in a row.
This unrivaled diversity in consumer health brands, medications, and medical devices has established itself as a significant source of revenue.
24. Linde (LIN)
After completing its merger with Praxair, which had already been included on the prestigious list of the S&P 500’s best dividend stocks for income growth in January 2018, Linde (LIN) became a Dividend Aristocrat in late 2018.
The largest industrial gas company in the world was created by the $90 billion merger of Linde and Praxair.
Before the merger, Praxair increased its dividend for 25 years in a row, and the new company is still a consistent dividend payer. Before the merger, the Dublin-based Linde increased its dividend each year since 2014.
The most recent increase for Linde was in February 2022, when the quarterly dividend was increased by 10% to $1.17 per share. A brand-new $10 billion share repurchase program was also approved by the company.
After paying for debt service, Linde should have enough free cash flow to maintain its dividend-growth streak.
25. Lowe’s (LOW)
It might not appear to be an exciting stock to buy the home improvement juggernaut. And unless you like dividend growth, that is accurate. Since going public in 1961, the company has increased its dividend every year.
In the last ten years alone, the payout has increased by a staggering 471%. The average American home is 37 years old, which is another significant figure that is favourable for Lowe’s. The upcoming DIY generation will shell out a lot of cash at Lowe’s.
26. McCormick (MKC)
The producer of herbs, spices, and other flavorings McCormick (MKC) has been expanding through acquisitions over the years to spur sales growth, and the deals have been profitable.
The plan should support McCormick’s dividend, which has been paid for 98 years running and increased every year for 36.
The most recent dividend increase announced by MKC was an 8.8% increase to the quarterly payment, or 37 cents per share, in November 2021. A 9% increase over the annual dividend of $1.36 per share paid in fiscal 2020 can be seen in McCormick’s current annualized dividend of $1.48 per share.
MKC has been able to achieve an annualized dividend growth rate of more than 107% over the past ten years thanks to ample free cash flow and a reasonable payout ratio. 20-year annualized dividend growth rate of the business is over 471%.
27. NextEra Energy (NEE)
NextEra Energy (NEE) is one of the top high dividend stocks to buy. The Aristocrats recently welcomed NextEra Energy to the group. In January 2021, the utility company joined the select club of dividend growers.
Florida Power & Light (FPL), Florida’s largest electric utility, and NextEra Energy Resources, a significant player in wind and solar energy, make up the company’s two main business divisions. This pairing of a successful regulated utility and a rapidly expanding renewables business appeals to analysts.
The company should benefit from the rising population and the Biden administration’s emphasis on the production of renewable energy.
In February 2022, the business increased its dividend by 10.1% to 42.5 cents per share per quarter.
28. Realty Income (O)
This stock might be ideal if you’re looking for a straightforward way to invest in top-notch real estate for income and growth. The company has a large portfolio of mostly e-commerce resistant properties that generate solid cash flows from long-term leases with tenants.
Due to its 27 consecutive years of dividend growth, Realty Income is also a Dividend Aristocrat (along with 53 straight years of paying investors every month).
Realty Income (O) is a REIT that investors can rely on for reliable income, but this stock also has another feature that might appeal to some income investors: Realty Income is a rare breed of monthly dividend stocks.
More than 630 tenants, including Walgreens (WBA), 7-Eleven, FedEx (FDX), and Dollar General (DG), working in 58 industries, are leased out of the company’s more than 6,700 commercial real estate properties, which total more than $6 billion in value.
The long-term nature of Realty Income’s leases typically results in predictable cash flow. Since 1994, the business has increased dividends by a compound average of 4.3% annually.
29. Roper Technologies (ROP)
Roper Technologies (ROP) is one of the top high dividend stocks to buy. It is an industrial company with operations in, among others, energy systems and controls, RF technology and software, and medical and scientific imaging, has been generating revenue for close to three decades.
The quarterly payout was increased 10.2% to 62 cents per share in November 2021, marking the most recent increase.
Roper has been able to increase its dividend without reducing its profit margins thanks to a combination of acquisitions, organic growth, and higher margins.
And even though the yield might not seem like much, persistent investors have learned to value the impact that ROP’s consistent dividend increases have had on their returns.
30. Sherwin-Williams (SHW)
Sherwin-Williams (SHW), one of the largest paint, coating, and home improvement companies in the world, became so after purchasing Valspar in 2017.
Sherwin-Williams’ consistent and growing dividend stream is certainly nothing to be concerned about for income investors. Every year since 1979, SHW has increased its distribution. The most recent increase was in February 2022 when the quarterly payment was increased by 9.1% to 60 cents per share.
Currently, SHW’s dividend has grown by 469% annually over the past 20 years.
31. Target (TGT)
Target is one of the top high dividend stocks to buy. It has repeatedly shown that it doesn’t need to compete on price to succeed in the cutthroat world of discount retailing.
It has consistently outperformed its competitors in terms of profitability, boasting some of the highest operating and gross margins in the retail industry.
The company has kept sales and profits growing at a respectable rate by concentrating on growing its e-commerce business and expanding its in-store offerings. With 50 years of dividend growth under its belt, Target should be on the shopping list of dividend investors.
32. T. Rowe Price (TROW)
Money managers like T. Vanguard’s indexed funds have been stealing market share from Rowe Price (TROW), despite the company still having a massive (and expanding) $1.7 trillion in assets under management (AUM).
Analysts point out that the company’s emphasis on the expanding retirement market and the performance of actively managed funds are just two factors driving up AUM.
T. For 36 years, Rowe Price has increased its dividend each year. The most recent dividend increase, a sizable 11.1% increase, was announced in February 2022. Investors can anticipate a 37th consecutive dividend increase in 2023 given its history as one of the best dividend stocks.
33. West Pharmaceutical Services (WST)
In recognition of its nearly three-decade-long streak of annual increases, West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) was included in the Dividend Aristocrats in January 2021.
Manufacturing packaging elements and delivery systems for injectable drugs and other medical products is a key activity for WST in the healthcare supply chain.
Bulls point out that demand for the company’s products is rising as a result of the high demand for COVID-19 vaccines. The strong pipeline for the biopharmaceutical sector should support longer-term growth in the meantime.
The company last increased the dividend in October 2021, raising the quarterly payout by 5.9% to 18 cents per share. The fact that there is a lot of free cash flow and a low payout ratio should reassure investors that the annual dividend increases will continue.
34. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
Walgreens is one of the top high dividend stocks to buy. Walgreens, one of the biggest retailers of pharmacies worldwide, is going through a significant transformation. As a result of its actions, costs have already been reduced, digital sales have increased, and perhaps most significantly, full-service healthcare clinics have been added to hundreds of its retail locations.
This profitable business is becoming more of an integrated healthcare company, which is boosting its already generous dividend to even higher levels. There is a lot to like about Walgreens stock for dividend investors, including a dividend yield that is currently well above 4.5% and six decades of annual payout growth.
4 Top High Dividend Stocks to Buy Apart from Dividend Aristocrats
You should look elsewhere besides the Dividend Aristocrats for top high dividend stocks to buy. Although they can still make excellent long-term dividend investments, many excellent companies simply haven’t paid dividends for long enough to be included in the index (or haven’t been publicly traded).
The following is a list of dividend-paying stocks that are also worth putting on your radar because they have qualities like strong brands, devoted clientele, and favorable demographic trends. See the information about each business below.
1. Brookfield Infrastructure Corp. (BIPC)
The best stocks aren’t always the ones that are out in the open. For example, Brookfield Infrastructure owns water, energy, utility, transportation, and communications infrastructure all over the world.
These assets produce consistent, inflation- and recession-proof cash flows, and Brookfield pays out a sizable portion of those cash flows to shareholders. Brookfield Infrastructure is a dividend treasure, with a yield close to 3% at current prices and a target to increase the payout by 5% to 9% annually.
2. Microsoft (MSFT)
Microsoft has steadily increased its sales as one of the largest corporations in the world, and dividend investors particularly like the company’s emphasis on recurring, or subscription-based, revenue sources. With a very low payout ratio and a strong balance sheet, the company has plenty of room to raise its dividend. It also has more cash than debt. We wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft soon joined the Dividend Aristocrats club given its 12-year streak of dividend increases.
3. American Express (AXP)
Another place to find a few top dividend stocks is in the financial sector, and American Express is among the best. Financial services include consumer and business lending. Despite not being a Dividend Aristocrat, AmEx has a history of either increasing or maintaining its dividend in every type of economic climate.
That’s a testament to its excellent lending standards and attention to higher-income consumers who are less likely to default on their debts during lean economic times. This makes it a secure investment for long-term holders as well as a consistent payer of dividends.
4. Clearway Energy (CWEN.A)
Although renewable energy is primarily thought of as a place for growth investors, it also offers fantastic dividend opportunities. The ideal example is Clearway Energy, which owns and manages utility-scale wind and solar assets.
The business invests in, buys, and runs these facilities while selling the power to utility companies under extremely long-term contracts. Clearway Energy is a great option if you’re looking for a lower-volatility, safer way to make money from renewable sources.
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