Three out of 30. That’s how many stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average currently don’t pay dividends. And the number will drop to two later this year with Walt Disney planning to reinstate its dividend program.
The Dow sports an average dividend yield of around 2.3%. But you can get much higher yields with certain stocks in the blue chip index. What are the three highest-paying dividend stocks in the Dow Jones, and should you buy them?
1. Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) easily ranks as the highest-paying Dow dividend stock. Its yield currently tops 7.1%. Verizon has increased its dividend for 16 consecutive years.
But the ultra-high yield isn’t due only to dividend hikes. Shares of the telecommunications company are roughly 40% below their previous high. As Verizon’s stock price sank, its dividend yield soared.
The stock looks insanely cheap based on its forward earnings multiple of 8.1. But Verizon has a huge debt load of $150.6 billion that hangs around the company’s neck like an albatross. It shelled out over $3.6 billion last year in interest payments.
Earnings fell in 2022. There’s some reason for optimism, though. For example, the company’s broadband performance in its latest quarter was the best in more than a decade. The increased adoption of 5G could also provide a nice tailwind.
Some investors will justifiably turn up their noses in favor of stocks with better growth prospects. However, I think that Verizon remains a pretty good pick for income investors.
2. 3M Company
If you like Verizon’s track record of dividend hikes, you’ll probably love 3M Company (NYSE: MMM). The industrial giant has increased its dividend for 64 consecutive years. That puts 3M in the elite group of stocks known as Dividend Kings.
It also offers a juicy dividend yield of nearly 5.8%. Like Verizon, though, this high yield is largely a result of 3M’s declining share price. The stock has plunged close to 50% below its high set in mid 2021.
The company faces plenty of challenges, notably including high inflation and economic uncertainty. 3M reported lower-than-expected revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2022. It also expects that revenue and earnings will decline year over year in 2023. Profit margins have slipped in recent years as well.
3M could be a decent long-term stock for income investors. My view, though, is that there are better alternatives, with the company’s headwinds likely to persist this year.
3. Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA) might not be too far away from joining 3M in the Dividend Kings club. The pharmacy company has increased its dividend for 47 consecutive years, and it has paid a dividend in every quarter for more than 90 consecutive years.
3M isn’t far ahead of Walgreens when it comes to dividend yields, either. Walgreens’ yield currently tops 5.7%. This might sound like a broken record, but the pharmacy stock’s steep decline (it’s roughly 40% below the 2021 peak) contributed significantly to the rising yield.
However, things could be looking up for Walgreens. The company increased its fiscal 2023 revenue outlook in January. It appears to be on track to hit earnings guidance as well. Both are especially encouraging considering that Walgreens won’t benefit as much this year from COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.
I wouldn’t argue that Walgreens is the best dividend stock for investors to buy right now. But with its attractive yield, great track record of dividend hikes, and potentially improving fortunes, I think that this Dow dividend stock is a better pick now than it’s been in a while.
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Keith Speights has positions in Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends 3M and Verizon Communications and recommends the following options: long January 2024 $145 calls on Walt Disney and short January 2024 $155 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.