Dividend payments can be an important source of income for investors. For retirees, dividend payments can help replace employment earnings and supplement pension income. For these reasons, many investors seek out income from stocks that pay high dividends on a consistent basis. The best dividend stocks are known as the “Dividend Aristocrats,” a select group of companies that have raised their dividend payouts for at least 25 consecutive years.
Dividend Aristocrats are a rare breed. There are only 68 stocks in the S&P 500 index that have hiked their payout to shareholders for a quarter century without missing a year. Many companies end up suspending or reducing their dividend payments during difficult economic times.
So, for investors who count on passive income from their investments, Dividend Aristocrats can serve as a financial lifeline. Here are three dividend aristocrat stocks to buy on sale right now.
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Shares of 3M (NYSE:MMM) are sitting at a fresh 52-week low and ripe for the picking. The company known for making Scotch tape and Post-It notes has seen its share price fall 33% over the past 12 months, including a 16.5% decline so far in 2023.
Has the stock bottomed?
It’s difficult to say. But with a price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 10.6 and a market capitalization of $55.3 billion, MMM stock looks cheap right now. Plus, the stock currently pays a quarterly dividend of $1.50 a share, which equates to a sky-high yield of 6%.
In fact, 3M’s dividend is one of the highest among companies listed on the S&P 500 index, making it an extremely attractive option for investors seeking to generate income.
3M also has one of the best track records of any company when it comes to paying a dividend. Founded in 1902, 3M has paid dividends to its shareholders for more than 100 years, and it has raised its dividend for 64 consecutive years. That actually makes MMM stock a “Dividend King” and places it in the highest order of dividend aristocrats.
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Shares of Big Blue are down 11% on the year and trading less than 9% above their 52-week low. The technology giant’s stock continues its long-term trend of underperformance, with its share price down 9% over the past five years.
While disappointing, IBM (NYSE:IBM) shareholders can comfort themselves with a quarterly dividend payment of $1.66 per share, which gives it a yield of 5.4%, among the highest of any tech stock.
Despite struggling through years-long restructurings and multiple turnaround strategies, IBM has managed to continue growing its dividend. The company has raised its payout for 28 consecutive years.
The dividend is viewed as safe given the company’s strong cash flow generation and should be considered a reward to shareholders who have stuck with IBM stock over the years despite its lagging performance.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
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Retail pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) is another company whose stock is sitting near its 52-week low. In the past 12 months, WBA stock has retreated 27% as traffic at its more than 9,000 stores waned along with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Walgreens pays a quarterly dividend of 48 cents per share, which is good for a hefty yield of 6.1%. The company has increased its dividend payout to shareholders for 47 years in a row.
Walgreen’s high dividend yield makes it one of the “Dogs of the Dow,” a select group of the 10 highest-yielding stocks in the Dow 30 index. MMM and IBM are also on the Dogs of the Dow list.
While Walgreens’ business and share price continue to struggle (the stock is down 50% over five years), the company has prioritized its dividend, attracting income investors as a result. Long term, Walgreens should benefit from its strong brand.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.
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