Investing

6 Dividend Kings That Offer the Best Passive Income Streams Now

golden crown
ptasha / iStock via Getty Images

Since 1926, dividends have contributed approximately 32% of the total return for the S&P 500, while capital appreciations have contributed 68%. Therefore, sustainable dividend income and capital appreciation potential are essential for total return expectations.

A recent study from the Hartford Funds, in collaboration with Ned Davis Research, found that dividend stocks delivered an annualized return of 9.18% over the past half-century (1973-2022). Over the same timeline, this was more than double the annualized return for non-payers (3.95%).

Most dividend investors aim to secure a reliable passive income stream from quality dividend stocks. Passive income is a consistent unearned income that does not require active traditional work. It is a financial goal that can be achieved through various means, including investments, real estate, or side hustles.

Investors seeking dividend dependability to generate solid passive income streams may be drawn to the Dividend Kings. These 53 companies have not just raised their dividends but have done so for 50 consecutive years or more, demonstrating a level of reliability and trust that investors can count on. We screened the list for the six highest-yielding companies, which includes three very conservative utility stocks.

Why do we cover the Dividend Kings?

The fact that these companies have raised their dividends for 50 years is more a testament to their dependability and reliability. Those are two “must-have” items for investors who rely on passive income to boost their overall revenue.

Altria

Altria
Source: Mario Tama / Getty Images
Altria is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of tobacco, cigarettes, and related products.

This tobacco companyoffers value investors a great entry point and a rich 8.73% dividend. Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) manufactures and sells smokable and oral tobacco products in the United States through its subsidiaries.

The company provides cigarettesprimarily under the Marlboro brand, as well as:

  • 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 primarilyto 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. Recently, the company announced it would sell 35 million of its 197 million shares through a global secondary offering. 

Universal Corporation

Source: Matt Cardy / Getty Images
Universal is one of the world’s leading 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 5.92% dividend. Universal Corp. (NYSE: UVV) processes and supplies leaf tobacco and plant-based ingredients worldwide.

The company operatesthrough two segments:

  • Tobacco Operations
  • Ingredients Operations

It procures, finances, processes, packs, stores, and shipsleaf 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
  • Manufactures dark air-cured tobaccos, naturally wrapped cigars, cigarillos, and smokeless and pipe tobacco products.

Universal 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

Canadian Utilities

Source: zhengzaishuru / iStock via Getty Images
Canadian Utilities is an ATCO company with approximately 5,000 employees and assets of $22 billion.

With a strong 5.72% dividendand residing in a highly safe sector, this stock is a steal at current trading levels. Canadian Utilities Ltd. (OTC: CDUAF) together with its subsidiaries, engages in the electricity, natural gas, renewables, pipelines, liquids, and retail energy businesses in Canada, Australia, and internationally.

It operatesthrough three segments:

  • ATCO Energy Systems
  • ATCO EnPower
  • Corporate & Other segments

The ATCO Energy Systemssegment provides regulated electricity transmission and distribution services in:

  • Northern and central east Alberta
  • The Yukon
  • The Northwest Territories
  • The Lloydminster area of Saskatchewan

This segment alsoprovides integrated natural gas transmission and distribution services in Alberta, the Lloydminster area of Saskatchewan, and Western Australia. It owns and operates approximately 9,100 kilometers of natural gas pipelines, 11 compressor sites, approximately 3,600 receipt and delivery points, and a salt cavern natural gas storage peaking facility near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in Canada.

The ATCO EnPowersegment provides:

  • Hydro
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Natural gas electricity generation
  • Natural gas storage
  • Industrial water solutions
  • Clean fuels, including hydrogen, carbon capture, and underground storage projects; and related infrastructure development in Alberta, the Yukon; the Northwest Territories, Australia, Ontario, Mexico, and Chile

The Corporate & Othersegment retails electricity and natural gas and provides whole-home solutions.

Northwest Natural Holding

Source: Kerkez / Getty Images
Northwest Natural provides natural gas service to approximately 2.0 million people in more than 140 communities.

This off-the-radar utilitystock suits worried conservative investors and pays a solid 5.09% 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 alsooperates 5.7 billion cubic feet of the Mist gas storage facility contracted to other utilities and third-party marketers. It offers natural gas asset management services and 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 providesnatural gas service through approximately:

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

Black Hills

Source: onurdongel / E+ via Getty Images
Black Hills is a Rapid City, South Dakota diversified energy company that is an electric and gas utility.

This Dividend Kingis way off the radar for many but is among the safest plays now and pays a hefty 4.56% dividend. Through its subsidiaries, Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) operates as an electric and natural gas utility company in the United States.

It operatesin two segments:

  • Electric Utilities 
  • Gas Utilities

The Electric Utilitiessegment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to approximately 220,000 electric utility customers in:

  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming 

The company alsoowns and operates 1,482 megawatts of generation capacity and 0,024 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines. 

The Gas Utilities segmentdistributes natural gas to approximately 1,107,000 natural gas utility customers in:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Wyoming

In addition, the company owns and operates 4,713 miles of intrastate gas transmission pipelines, 42,222 miles of gas distribution mains and service lines, seven natural gas storage sites, approximately 50,000 horsepower of compression, and 515 miles of gathering lines.

Black Hills also constructs and maintains gas infrastructure facilities for gas transportation customers, provides appliance repair services to residential utility customers, and constructs electrical systems for large industrial customers.

Lastly, it produces electric powerthrough wind, natural gas, coal-fired generating plants, and coal at its coal mine near Gillette, Wyoming. 

Federal Realty Investment Trust

Source: anouchka / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
Founded in 1962, Federal Realty’s mission is to deliver long-term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities.

While real estate has slowlycome 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 the District of Columbia to Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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

Its expertise includescreating 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 propertiesinclude 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 4.29% for 56 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry.

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.