Over the last year and a half, 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 7.87% 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, many across Wall Street feel that the Federal Reserve will start to lower rates by this time next year.
For those seeking dividend dependability, investors may be drawn to the Dividend Kings. These are the 44 companies that have raised the dividends they pay shareholders a stunning 50 consecutive years in a row or longer.
We screened the current Dividend Kings list for the seven highest-yielding stocks and listed them in order of the most significant dividends.
This maker of tobacco products offers investors a great entry point now and a rich 9.80% 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.
- 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
While somewhat off-the-radar, this stock has almost been cut in half over the last year, offering massive upside potential and a fat 7.90% dividend. Leggett & Platt Incorporated (NYSE: LEG) designs, manufactures, and markets engineered components and products worldwide.
It operates through three segments:
- Specialized Products
- 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, and mattress packaging and glue drying equipment, as well as devices to produce inner springs 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, motors and actuators, and cables; titanium, nickel, and stainless steel tubing.
Formed tubes, tube assemblies, and flexible joint components for fluid conveyance systems; and engineered hydraulic cylinders for automobile OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, aerospace OEMs and suppliers, and mobile equipment OEMs.
This top company could jump with continued economic pick-up, and while the shares are down big this year, the company pays a solid 6.46% dividend. 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) is a diversified technology company worldwide.
3M operates through four segments:
- Safety and Industrial
- Transportation and Electronics
- Health Care
The Safety and Industrial segment offers industrial abrasives and finishing for metalworking applications: autobody repair solutions; closure systems for personal hygiene products, masking, and packaging materials; electrical effects and fabrics for construction and maintenance, power distribution, and electrical original equipment manufacturers; structural adhesives and tapes; respiratory, hearing, eye, and fall protection solutions; and 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; and 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; and filtration and purification systems.
The Consumer segment provides consumer bandages, braces, supports, and consumer respirators: cleaning products for the home; retail abrasives, paint accessories, car care DIY products, picture hanging, and consumer air quality solutions; and stationery products. It offers its products through e-commerce and traditional wholesalers, retailers, jobbers, distributors, and dealers.
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 6.25% dividend. Universal Corporation (NYSE: UVV) processes and supplies leaf tobacco and plant-based ingredients worldwide.
The company operates through two segments:
- Tobacco Operations and 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; and customer smoke testing services.
Northwest Natural Holding
This off-the-radar utility stock suits worried conservative investors and pays a solid 5.31% dividend. Northwest Natural Holding Company (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; 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 provides natural gas service through approximately 786,000 meters in Oregon and southwest Washington and water services to about 80,000 people through about 33,000 water and wastewater connections in the Pacific Northwest and Texas.
Federal Realty Investment Trust
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. Founded in 1962,
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
- Santana Row in San Jose, California.
- Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland.
- Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Federal Realty’s 105 properties include approximately 3,000 tenants in 24 million square feet and over 2,600 residential units.
The company has increased its quarterly dividends to its shareholders, which is currently 4.71% for 52 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry.
This stock is one of the top pharmaceutical stock picks across Wall Street, and shareholders are paid a solid 4.47% 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
- Renal disease
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 Plc, the latest merger in an industry where some of the biggest companies have been willing to pay 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.
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