Investing

The 7 Highest Yielding Dividend Champions Are Passive Income Winners

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Dividend stocks are a favorite among investors for good reason. They provide a steady income stream and offer a promising avenue for total return. Total return, a comprehensive measure of investment performance, encompasses interest, capital gains, dividends, and distributions realized over time.

Put simply, it’s the sum of income and stock appreciation. Dividend stocks can enhance investment success by providing regular income and the possibility of stock value growth.

We decided to explore the Dividend Champions, and regular 24/7 Wall St. readers know that we often write about the Dividend Aristocrats and the Dividend Kings, so here’s the difference. The Dividend Champions are companies that have raised their dividends for 25 years and longer but can be any size market cap-wise. They can range from small-cap to large-cap and don’t have to be in the S&P 500 like the Dividend Aristocrats. The Dividend Kings are companies that have raised their dividends for 50 years or more and they do not have to be in the S&P 500 either.

The 2024 Dividend Champions include 149 stocks, and we screened the list to find the ones with the highest dividend payouts for investors seeking solid and dependable passive income. Seven companies in the group pay the highest dividends; a few will likely be new companies for investors to review.

Why cover the Dividend Champions?

The key for investors with this group is that they don’t have to be in the S&P 500 and can be any market cap size. That opens the door for many new stocks that have paid reliable dividends for over 25 years.

Altria

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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;

  • 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. 

Chevron

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Chevron Corporation is an American multinational energy corporation specializing in oil and gas.

This integrated giantis a safer option for investors looking to position themselves in the energy sector and pays a rich 4% dividend. Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) engages in integrated energy and chemicals operations worldwide through its subsidiaries.

The companyoperates in two segments:

  • Upstream
  • Downstream

The Upstream segmentis involved in the following:

  • Exploration, development, production, and transportation of crude oil and natural gas;
  • Processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas
  • Transportation of crude oil through pipelines
  • Transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as operating a gas-to-liquids plant

The Downstream segmentengages in:

  • Refining crude oil into petroleum product
  • Marketing crude oil, refined products, and lubricants
  • Manufacturing and marketing renewable fuels
  • Transporting crude oil and advanced products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car
  • Manufacturing and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives

Chevron announced last fallthat it has entered into a definitive agreement with Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Hess in an all-stock transaction valued at $53 billion, or $171 per share based on Chevron’s closing price on October 20, 2023. Under the terms of the agreement, Hess shareholders will receive 1.0250 shares of Chevron for each Hess share. The transaction’s total enterprise value, including debt, is $60 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway owns6.7% of Chevron’s outstanding stock with 123.000,000 shares, and the energy giant makes up 5.1% of the portfolio. Each year the stock generates $776,734,888 in dividend income. 

Enterprise Products Partners

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Enterprise Products Partners L.P. is an American midstream natural gas and crude oil pipeline company with headquarters in Houston, Texas.

This company is one ofthe largest publicly traded energy partnerships and pays a 6.95% dividend. Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) provides various midstream energy services, including:

  • Gathering
  • Processing
  • Transporting and storing natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation
  • Import and export terminalling
  • Offshore production platform services

The company hasfour reportable business segments:

  • Natural Gas Pipelines and Services
  • NGL Pipelines and Services
  • Petrochemical Services
  • Crude Oil Pipelines and Services

One of the reasons manyanalysts like the stock might be its distribution coverage ratio. The company’s distribution coverage ratio is well above 1x, making it relatively less risky in the MLP sector.

Eversource Energy

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Eversource is an energy provider serving customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

This is a conservative stock idea that is off the radar and pay a rich 4.70% dividend. Eversource Energy (NYSE: ES)  is a public utility holding company, engages in the energy delivery business.

The company operates through four segments:

  • Electric Distribution,
  • Electric Transmission,
  • Natural Gas Distribution, and
  • Water Distribution segments

It is involved in the transmission and distribution of electricity; solar power facilities; and distribution of natural gas.

The company operates regulated water utilities that provide water services to approximately 241,000 customers. It serves residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and fire protection, and other customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

NNN REIT

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NNN REIT invests primarily in high-quality retail properties subject generally to long-term, net leases

This Dividend Champion is another fresh idea for investors that pays a hefty 5.30% dividend. NNN REIT, Inc. (NYSE: NNN) invests primarily in high-quality retail properties subject generally to long-term, net leases.

As of December 31, 2023, the company owned 3,532 properties in 49 states with a gross leasable area of approximately 36.0 million square feet and a weighted average remaining lease term of 10.1 years.

The company reported solid first quarter results as revenue came in at $215.41 million, up from $204.11 million in the previous year, surpassing the estimated $211.46 million. While net income of $94.37 million, representedan increase from $90.17 million year-over-year, exceeding the estimate of $88.93 million.

NNN is one of only three publicly traded REITs to have increased annual dividends for 34 or more consecutive years.

Realty Income

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Realty Income Corporation is a real estate investment trust that invests in free-standing, single-tenant commercial properties in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom.

This is an ideal stockfor growth and income investors looking for a safer contrarian idea for the rest of 2024 that pays a whopping 5.88% dividend. Realty Income Corporation (NYSE: O) is an S&P 500 company that provides stockholders with dependable monthly income.

The company is structuredas a REIT, and its monthly dividends are supported by the cash flow from over 15,540 real estate properties owned under long-term lease agreements with commercial tenants.

Thecompany has declared 644 consecutive common stock monthly dividends throughout its 55-year operating history and increased the dividend 123 times since Realty Income’s public listing in 1994. 

UGI Corporation

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UGI owns AmeriGas, the largest propane marketer in the United States.

This Dividend Champion offers a fat 6.07% dividend and some stellar total return potential. UGI Corporation (NYSE: UGI) together with its subsidiaries, distributes, stores, transports, and markets energy products and related services in the United States and internationally.

The company operates through four segments:

  • AmeriGas Propane
  • UGI International
  • Midstream & Marketing
  • UGI Utilities

Through its extensive network of 1,400 propane distribution locations, it distributes propane to approximately 1.3 million residential, commercial/industrial, motor fuel, agricultural, and wholesale customers.

The company distributes liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) to:

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Agricultural
  • Wholesale
  • Automobile fuel customers
  • Provides logistics, storage, and other services to third-party LPG distributors

In addition, it retails natural gas, liquid fuels, and electricity to approximately 12,400 residential, commercial, and industrial customers at 42,000 locations.

Further, the company distributes natural gas to approximately 677,000 customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania counties through its distribution system of approximately 12,500 miles of gas mains and supplies electricity to approximately 62,600 customers in northeastern Pennsylvania through 2,560 miles of lines and 14 substations.

Additionally, it operates electric generation facilities, which include:

  • Coal-fired
  • Landfill gas-fueled
  • Solar-powered
  • Natural gas-fueled facilities
  • Natural gas liquefaction, storage, and vaporization facility
  • Propane storage and propane-air mixing stations
  • Rail transshipment terminals

It manages natural gas pipeline and storage contracts; develops, owns, and operates pipelines, gathering infrastructure, and gas storage facilities.

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