Do You Have These Top Dividend Stocks On Your February 2022 Watchlist?
With the stock market volatility amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, investors could be re-evaluating their current strategies. For those looking to take a more defensive stance, dividend stocks could be worth considering. After all, more consistent gains in the form of dividends would be a go-to for some. This would especially ring true as many top dividend-paying companies are time-tested, having survived wars, pandemics, and recessions.
Another factor to consider would be the Federal Reserve’s plans to tighten monetary policy. In fact, according to Fed meeting minutes posted yesterday, we could see the central bank take action quicker than expected. To be precise, the notes mention that the current economic and financial conditions could “likely warrant a faster pace of balance sheet runoff.” Because of this, high growth sectors in the stock market may be looking at headwinds down the line. Accordingly, this would be where dividend stocks come into play.
For one thing, there are a wide array of companies that offer quarterly dividends now. We could take a look at the likes of PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) for instance. On one hand, PepsiCo has a solid history with its dividend payouts. Just last week, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 5% to $1.075 per share. This would mark its 49th consecutive annual dividend increase. On the other hand, even tech goliaths such as Cisco are paying out notable dividends as well. Following its latest earnings report yesterday, the firm raised its quarterly dividend payout by 3% to $0.38 per share. With all this in mind, here are three dividend stocks to check out in the stock market today.
Dividend Stocks To Watch Right Now
Exxon Mobil is one of the top names within its industry. In detail, it is an energy company that engages in the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas. The company has an Upstream and Downstream segment. On one hand, its Upstream segment operates to explore for and produce oil and natural gas. On the other hand, the Downstream segment manufactures and sells petroleum worldwide.
When looking for a stable and consistent dividend company, it is difficult not to think of the likes of Exxon. After all, the company has a history of increasing its dividend annually for the past 38 years and offers a dividend yield of 4.5% now. Separately, the company recently announced that it will further streamline its business structure by combining chemical and downstream companies. Also, it will centralize its technology and engineering, and other support services. This will better support its customers, enhance performance and grow value. Not to mention, it will allow the company to fully leverage the corporation’s scale, integration, and the skill and capabilities of its talented workforce.
Exxon started the month of February by announcing its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 results. The company reported earnings of $8.9 billion or $2.08 per share for the quarter. That compared to losses of $20 billion or $4.70 per share for the same period a year ago. Besides that, Exxon also initiated a $10 billion share repurchase program. All in all, the company appears to have adapted well to the impact of the pandemic. With an effective pandemic response, focused investments during the down-cycle, and structural cost savings, it has positioned itself to realize the full benefits of the market recovery. With that in mind, would you consider adding XOM stock to your watchlist?
Another top dividend stock to know would be Verizon. For those unaware, the company provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services. Its wireless services are provided across wireless networks in the U.S. under the Verizon brand. In fact, it is the second-largest carrier in the country, only behind AT&T (NYSE: T). The company has a dividend yield of 4.8% and has consistently raised its payout for the past 17 years. Well, it has proved its resilience through the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Verizon announced that it will be collaborating with the Caltech Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST). The partnership hopes to accelerate the innovation process and development of unmanned aerial vehicles that can autonomously navigate via 5G, edge compute, and artificial intelligence (AI). This is part of the company’s efforts to explore how 5G can disrupt and transform nearly every industry.
Financially, Verizon also ended 2021 strongly with steady growth across the board. Late in January, the company announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 earnings report. Its full-year earnings per share increased to $5.32 as compared with $4.30 in the prior year. Meanwhile, its operating revenue for the year was $133.6 billion, up 4.1% year-over-year. Overall, it was a transformational year for Verizon as it delivered on all its goals for the year. Given these considerations, would VZ stock be a top dividend stock to watch right now?
Similar to Exxon, 3M is a company with a healthy track record of paying increasing dividends over the years. Essentially, it is a technology company that applies science in collaborative ways to improve the daily lives of its customers. It primarily operates through four segments, Safety and Industrial, Transportation and Electronics, Health Care, and Consumer.
Last week, it declared a dividend on the company’s common stock of $1.49 per share for the first quarter of 2022. For a sense of scale, 3M has paid dividends without interruptions for more than a century. Also, for what it’s worth, this makes it the 64th consecutive year where it is able to increase its dividend. The company has repeatedly emphasized that it prioritizes the act of returning value to shareholders as it continues to drive forward.
Despite all its success, 3M is not one that easily rests on its laurels. Recently, the company announced that it will be expanding its partnership with Ferrovial to create AIVIA Smart Roads. In brief, Ferrovial is a leading developer of transportation infrastructure. Together, along with other industry leaders and innovators such as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), will use innovative solutions to design and build the smarter connected roads of the future. Hopefully, it will be able to improve safety, support autonomous vehicles and deliver communication directly to motorists. If a consistent dividend payout is what you’re looking for, should you be paying more attention to MMM stock?