The 7 Highest-Yielding Dividend Kings Likely Can Fight Inflation and a Recession

At 24/7 Wall St., we know how important dividend size, stability and growth are to growth and income investors that need a dependable stream of income. We often have written about the opportunities that the Dividend Aristocrats offer for long-term investors. These are the companies that meet the guidelines for inclusion and have raised their dividends every year for 25 consecutive years. Just 66 stocks made the cut in 2022 and remain top picks across Wall Street.

For those seeking even greater dividend dependability, investors may be drawn to the Dividend Kings. These 44 companies have raised the dividends they pay to shareholders for a stunning 50 consecutive years or longer.

Despite last week’s big rally, the market may once again start teetering on the abyss and we may be headed much lower. If that is indeed the case, then it may be time for investors to look for momentum or high beta stocks lurking in their portfolios, especially if they are still profitable or flat, and move the capital invested in them to one of the safest Dividend Kings.

We screened the current Dividend Kings list for the seven highest-yielding stocks, and we listed them in order of the biggest dividends. It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

Altria

This maker of tobacco products offers value investors a great entry point now as it has been hit as cigarette sales have slowed. Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) is the parent company of Philip Morris USA (cigarettes), UST (smokeless), John Middleton (cigars), Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Philip Morris Capital. PMUSA enjoys a 51% share of the U.S. cigarette market, led by its top cigarette brand Marlboro.

Altria also owns over 10% of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer. In March 2008, it spun off its international cigarette business to shareholders. In December 2018, the company acquired 35% of Juul Labs, and it has purchased a 45% stake in cannabis company Cronus for $1.8 billion.

Shareholders receive a 6.61% dividend. BofA Securities has a $58 target price on Altria stock. The consensus target is $58.83, and the stock closed on Tuesday at $54.09.

Universal

While this company’s products, like Altria’s, may not be for everyone, they have strong demand, and it has been in business for almost 150 years. Universal Corp. (NYSE: UVV) processes and supplies leaf tobacco and plant-based ingredients worldwide. It engages 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, natural wrapped cigars and cigarillos and smokeless and pipe tobacco products. It also provides value-added services, including blending, chemical and physical testing of tobacco; service cutting for various manufacturers; manufacturing reconstituted leaf tobacco; just-in-time inventory management services; electronic nicotine delivery systems; and smoke testing services for customers.

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