Investors Can Generate Huge Passive Income With 7 Dividend Kings

golden crown
ptasha / iStock via Getty Images

Over the last two years, interest rates have jumped from historical lows of literally 0% to the highest level since 2007 at 5.5%. 30 FHA Mortgages have jumped from 2.65% in January of 2021 to the current 7.24% rate. During that period, any stock that was the least sensitive to interest rates got hammered, and the damage trail covered several sectors.

While it was a tough stretch for shareholders, 2024 could be the year many interest rate-sensitive stocks bounce back with a vengeance. While the possibility of one final interest rate hike still looms, as inflation has risen again, many across Wall Street feel that the Federal Reserve will begin to lower rates later this year.

For those seeking dividend dependability, investors may be drawn to the Dividend Kings. These are the 53 companies that have raised the dividends they pay shareholders a stunning 50 consecutive years in a row or longer.

We screened the 2024 Dividend Kings list, looking for the highest-yielding stocks to provide passive income investors with a steady stream of dependable income. Seven top companies look like great opportunities now, and all are rated Buy by top Wall Street firms. 


Source: mariusFM77 / Getty Images

Altria also owns over 10% of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

This maker of tobacco products offers value investors a great entry point now and a rich 9.56% dividend. Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) manufactures and sells smokable and oral tobacco products in the United States through its subsidiaries.

The company provides cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand:

  • Cigars and pipe tobacco, principally under the Black & Mild brand
  • Moist smokeless tobacco and snus products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands
  • on! oral nicotine pouches

It sells its tobacco products primarily to wholesalers, including distributors and large retail organizations, such as chain stores.

Altria owns over 10% of Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD), the world’s largest brewer.

Leggett & Platt

Source: Lyndon Stratford / iStock via Getty Images

The mattress maker also provides parts for automotive companies.

While somewhat off-the-radar, this stock has almost been cut in half over the last year, offering massive upside potential and a fat 8.94% dividend. Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG) designs, manufactures, and markets engineered components and products worldwide.

It operates through three segments:

  • Bedding, Specialized Products
  • Furniture, Flooring
  • Textile Products

The company offers:

  • Steel rods, drawn wires, foam chemicals, and additives
  • Innerspring, specialty foams, private label finished mattresses, mattress foundations,
  • Wire forms for mattress foundations, adjustable beds, industrial sewing and quilting machines
  • Mattress packaging and glue drying equipment, machines to produce innerspring for industrial users of steel rods and wires, manufacturers of finished bedding, big box and e-commerce retailers, bedding brands and mattress retailers, department stores, and home improvement centers.

Leggett & Platt also provides:

  • Mechanical and pneumatic lumbar support and massage systems for automotive seating
  • Seat suspension systems
  • Motor actuators and cables
  • Titanium, nickel, and stainless steel tubing, formed tubes, tube assemblies
  • Flexible joint components for fluid conveyance systems and engineered hydraulic cylinders to automobile OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, aerospace OEMs and suppliers, and mobile equipment OEMs


Source: www-miromi-com-br / Flickr

The legacy industrial provides everything from tape to highway signs.

This top company could jump with an economic pick-up and pay a very rich 6.60% dividend. 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) is a diversified technology company worldwide.

It operates through four segments:

  • Safety and Industrial
  • Transportation and Electronics
  • Health Care
  • Consumer

The Safety and Industrial segment offers:

  • Industrial abrasives and finishing for metalworking applications
  • Auto body repair solutions
  • Closure systems for personal hygiene products
  • Masking and packaging materials
  • Electrical products and materials for construction and maintenance
  • Power distribution and electrical original equipment manufacturers
  • Structural adhesives and tapes
  • Respiratory, hearing, eye, and fall protection solutions
  • Natural and color-coated mineral granules for shingles

The 3M Transportation and Electronics segment provides:

  • Ceramic solutions
  • Attachment tapes
  • Films
  • Sound and temperature management for vehicles
  • Premium large-format graphic films for advertising and fleet signage
  • Light management films and electronics assembly solutions
  • Packaging and interconnection solutions
  • Reflective signage for highway and vehicle safety

Italy, the company’s Healthcare segment offers:

  • Food safety indicator solutions
  • Healthcare procedure coding and reimbursement software
  • Skin, wound care, and infection prevention products and solutions
  • Dentistry and orthodontic solutions
  • Filtration and purification systems

The Consumer segment provides:

  • Consumer bandages
  • Braces, supports, and respirators
  • Home cleaning products
  • Retail abrasives and paint accessories
  • Car care DIY products
  • Picture hanging and consumer air quality solutions
  • Stationery products

It offers its products through e-commerce and traditional wholesalers, retailers, jobbers, distributors, and dealers.

Universal Corporation

Source: Oli Scarff / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Universal Corporation is one of the world’s top tobacco merchants.

While this company’s products, like Altria’s, may not be for everyone, they have strong demand, have been in business for almost 150 years, and offer shareholders a hefty 6.70% dividend. Universal Corp. (NYSE: UVV) processes and supplies leaf tobacco and plant-based ingredients worldwide.

The company operates through two segments:

  • Tobacco Operations 
  • Ingredients Operations

It is involved in procuring, financing, processing, packing, storing, and shipping leaf tobacco for sale to manufacturers of consumer tobacco products.

The company contracts, purchases, processes, and sells flue-cured, burley, and oriental tobaccos that are primarily used in the manufacture of cigarettes and dark air-cured tobaccos principally used in the manufacture of cigars, naturally wrapped cigars and cigarillos, smokeless and pipe tobacco products.

Universal Corporation also provides value-added services, including:

  • Blending
  • Chemical and physical tobacco testing
  • Service cutting for various manufacturers
  • Manufacturing reconstituted leaf tobacco
  • Just-in-time inventory management services
  • Electronic nicotine delivery systems
  • Customer smoke testing services

Northwest Natural Holding

Source: trekandshoot / iStock via Getty Images

The company has provided essential services for over 165 years.

This off-the-radar utility stock suits worried conservative investors and pays a solid 5.25% dividend. Northwest Natural Holding Co. (NYSE: NWN), through its subsidiary, Northwest Natural Gas Company, provides regulated natural gas distribution services to residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The company also operates:

  • 5.7 billion cubic feet of the Mist gas storage facility contracted to other utilities and third-party marketers
  • Offers natural gas asset management services
  • Operates an appliance retail center

In addition, it engages in gas storage, water, non-regulated renewable natural gas, and other investments and activities.

The company provides:

  • Natural gas service through approximately 786,000 meters in Oregon and southwest Washington
  • Water services to approximately 786,000 meters in Oregon and southwest Washington
  • Water services to roughly 80,000 people through approximately 33,000 water and wastewater connections in the Pacific Northwest and Texas

Federal Realty Investment Trust

Source: jetcityimage / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
This company is a real estate investment trust that invests in shopping centers nationwide.

While real estate has slowly come back, demand is still growing, and hard assets are good in inflationary times. Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation, and redevelopment of high-quality retail-based properties in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C., to Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Federal Realty’s mission is to deliver long-term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply.

Its expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like:

  • Santana Row in San Jose, California
  • Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland
  • Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts

Federal Realty’s 102 properties include approximately 3,300 tenants in 26 million square feet and 3,100 residential units. Federal Realty has increased its quarterly dividends to its shareholders, which is currently 4.26% for 56 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry.


Source: vzphotos / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
The company’s Humira generated $14 billion in revenue in 2023.

This stock is one of the top pharmaceutical stock picks across Wall Street, and shareholders are paid a solid 3.82% dividend. AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories.

The company develops and markets drugs in areas such as:

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Renal disease
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Neuroscience

One of the biggest concerns with AbbVie is what might eventually happen with the anti-inflammatory therapy Humira, which has some of the most significant sales for a drug ever recorded. The company was concerned, so in June of 2019, they announced they had agreed to pay $63 billion for rival drugmaker Allergan, the latest merger in an industry where some of the biggest companies have been willing to spend a high price to resolve questions about their future growth.

AbbVie may be nearing the limits of how far it can boost Humira’s price as cheaper competitors come to market. This is a problem Allergan is already grappling with as more alternatives to Botox emerge.


ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.