Play the Artificial Intelligence Wave With 3 Dividend-Paying Data Center Giants

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24/7 Insights

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. 

Let’s take a closer look at how total return works. Suppose you purchase a stock at $20 that offers a 3% dividend. If the stock price increases to $22 in a year, your total return would be 13%. This is calculated by adding the 10% increase in stock price to the 3% dividend.

Many of our readers are looking for avenues to take advantage of the AI revolution but are somewhat restricted by the high prices of many of the stocks that are the most prominent players in the arena. One outstanding avenue for investors with more limited purse strings and somewhat lower risk tolerance is to look at the data center sector.

While transforming some of the biggest data center companies to full-scale AI data centers is still a work in progress, you can bet that customers’ demand for AI applications in gigantic server farms will only grow exponentially. AI data centers typically consist of high-performance servers, storage systems, networking infrastructure, and specialized hardware accelerators.

We screened our 24/7 Wall St. data center research universe, looking for the biggest and best companies in the industry, and found three that are technically real estate investment trusts that investors should look at now. With almost every industry looking for new AI functionality that can streamline processes and improve results, data centers are uniquely positioned to provide and benefit from AI applications.

American Tower

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A global provider of digital communications infrastructure. American Tower offers solutions and services to deploy and support wireless networks in 25 countries.

This top company pays investors a substantial 3.50% dividend. American Tower Corp. (NYSE: AMT) is one of the largest global REITs and a leading independent owner, operator, and developer of multitenant communications real estate. It has a portfolio of over 224,000 communications sites and a highly interconnected footprint of U.S. data center facilities.

The company noted this on its website:

In 2023, we saw mobile network technology advancements take center stage. Our global customers are rapidly deploying next-generation networks to meet the growing demand for connectivity. American Tower’s globally distributed portfolio of communications assets and our operational capabilities are well positioned to extend our long track record of solid growth, executed sustainably, for years to come.

Digital Realty Trust

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Digital Realty Trust owns, operates, and invests in carrier-neutral data centers across the world.

An industry leader and probably the best pure-play for AI exposure, Digital Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: DLR) pays a hefty 3.45% dividend. It brings companies and data together by delivering the full spectrum of data center, colocation, and interconnection solutions.

PlatformDIGITAL, the company’s global data center platform, provides customers with a secure data meeting place and a proven Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx) solution methodology for powering innovation and efficiently managing Data Gravity challenges.
Digital Realty gives its customers access to the connected data communities that matter to them. It has a global data center footprint of over 300 facilities in 50 metro areas across 25 countries on six continents.
The company recently announced via press release:
Digital Realty has commenced construction of its third data center at its NRT campus in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, in Japan. Utililizing PlatformDIGITAL the facility is expected to open in December 2025 and will significantly increase availability of state-of-the-art AI-ready infrastructure capacity in Japan. This announcement follows the recent launch of NRT12 on the same campus, solidifying Digital Realty’s commitment to providing customers with best-in-class data center solutions in Japan.


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Equinix is a leader in global colocation data center market share, with 260 data centers in 33 countries on five continents.

While priced higher than the other stocks in the sector, this industry giant still offers big upside and a 2.45% dividend. Equinix Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) is the self-described world’s digital infrastructure company and it was confirmed recently a former Google Cloud executive Adrian Fox-Martin will become the firms CEO. Ms. Fox-Martin has more than 25 years of experience in the technology sector and has held senior positions at companies such as Oracle and SAP.

Digital leaders harness Equinix’s trusted platform to bring together and interconnect foundational infrastructure at software speed. Equinix enables organizations to access all the right places, partners and possibilities to scale with agility, speed the launch of digital services, deliver world-class experiences and multiply their value, while supporting their sustainability goals.

The company recently announced the availability of Dell PowerStore on Equinix Metal, a new, enterprise-grade Storage as a Service (STaaS) solution. Dell PowerStore on Equinix Metal with flexible configurations can help enterprises manage a wide range of high-performance multicloud workloads through low-latency connectivity with proximity to major public clouds.

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