Big Dividend Paying Stocks to Buy Right Now

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After a year like 2023, investors are probably taking the proverbial victory lap, and with good reason, with the Nasdaq up a stunning 43% and the S&P 500 up 24%. However, the tide could turn this year, and the fact that inflation remains sticky, as evidenced by the December consumer price index report, may be part of the reason.

While interest rates probably start to come down by the summer or, at the latest, the fall, one sector that was a victim of rising rates last year may be a benefactor if they decline this year: utility stocks. Everyone needs power, regardless of the economy. We screened our 24/7 Wall St. utility stock research and found five top companies that are buy-rated on Wall Street and pay significant and dependable dividends to shareholders.

5. American Electric Power

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  • Ticker Symbol: NYSE: AEP
  • Dividend Yield: 4.38%

This industry-leading utility pays investors a hefty dividend. American Electric Power Co. Inc. is an electric public utility holding company that generates, transmits, and distributes electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers in the United States.

It Operates Through

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  • Vertically Integrated Utilities
  • Transmission and Distribution Utilities
  • AEP Transmission Holdco
  • Generation & Marketing segments

How The Company Generates

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  • Coal
  • Lignite
  • Natural gas
  • Renewable energy
  • Nuclear energy
  • Hydro,
  • Solar energy
  • Wind and other energy sources

4. Consolidated Edison

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  • Ticker Symbol: NYSE: ED
  • Dividend Yield: 3.55%

This old-school utility stock offers income investors the stability and track record many seek now and a solid dividend. Consolidated Edison Inc. through its subsidiaries, engages in the regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses in the United States.

Where It Offers Power

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  • 3.6 million customers in New York City and Westchester County
  • Gas to about 1.1 million customers in Manhattan, the Bronx, parts of Queens, and Westchester County
  • Steam to approximately 1,530 customers in parts of Manhattan

The company also supplies electricity to approximately 0.3 million customers in southeastern New York and northern New Jersey and gas to about 0.1 million customers in southeastern New York.

Types Of Operations

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  • 543 circuit miles of transmission lines
  • 15 transmission substations
  • 63 distribution substations
  • 87,951 in-service line transformers
  • 3,869 pole miles of overhead distribution lines
  • 2,320 miles of underground distribution lines
  • 4,359 miles of mains
  • 377,741 service lines for natural gas distribution

3. Duke Energy

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  • Ticker Symbol: NYSE: DUK
  • Dividend Yield: 4.22%

This is an excellent idea now, located in a growing part of the country and paying a hefty dividend yield. Duke Energy Corporation and its subsidiaries operate as an energy company in the United States.

It operates through two segments:

  • Electric Utilities and Infrastructure (EU&I)
  • Gas Utilities and Infrastructure (GU&I).

The EU&I segment generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electricity in the Carolinas, Florida, and the Midwest.

How Duke Energy Produces Power

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  • Coal
  • Hydroelectric
  • Natural gas
  • Oil
  • Solar and wind sources
  • Renewables
  • Nuclear fuel

This segment also sells electricity to municipalities, electric cooperative utilities, and load-serving entities.

Where Duke Sells Energy

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  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Power generation natural gas customers

The segment also invests in pipeline transmission projects, renewable natural gas projects, and natural gas storage facilities.

2. Exelon

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  • Ticker Symbol: NYSE: EXC
  • Dividend Yield: 3.97%

This top utility stock makes good sense now for conservative accounts and pays a dependable 3.97% dividend. Exelon Corporation is a utility services holding company engaged in the energy distribution and transmission businesses in the United States and Canada.

Types of Support Services

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  • Legal
  • Human resources
  • Information technology
  • Supply management
  • Financial
  • Engineering
  • Customer operations
  • Distribution and transmission planning
  • Asset management
  • System operations
  • Power procurement services

The company Serves

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  • Distribution utilities
  • Municipalities
  • Cooperatives
  • Financial institutions
  • Commercial, industrial, governmental, and residential customers.

1. Southern Company

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  • Ticker Symbol: NYSE: SO
  • Dividend Yield: 3.94%

This large-cap utility leader pays a solid 3.94% dividend. Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

The Three Segments It Operates In

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  • Gas Distribution Operations
  • Gas Pipeline Investment
  • Gas Marketing Services

The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects, and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, gas distribution operations, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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