The best dividend stocks for 2010 include companies that have historically paid high dividends while delivering solid growth. There are some companies that paid higher dividends in 2010, but their stock prices have been volatile, and there is doubt among investors about their ability to continue paying high dividends. Likewise, telecommunication companies have been left off of the list of best dividend stocks for 2010. Although several of them paid substantial dividends, their stock prices can deteriorate quickly because of rapid technological changes and consolidation in the industry. Most dividend investors want steady income for the long haul while protecting their principle with solid, increasing stock prices.
- Altria Group, Inc. Altria was formerly known as Philip Morris and is the nation's largest tobacco company. It has a worldwide presence and has been expanding operations both nationally and internationally. The company has also been making acquisitions in the smokeless tobacco and cigar markets recently. Altria is also a big player in the wine industry. Altria's management has pursued a long tradition that began in its Philip Morris days of paying a substantial, regular dividend. This stock was one of the best dividend stocks for 2010 because it paid out a dividend of about 6.9%. However, unlike many high dividend payers, Altria has shown that it has the motivation and revenue to consistently pay high dividends. While smoking rates have declined in the US, Altria expects to more than make up domestic revenue losses with solid growth overseas.
- Consolidated Edison, Inc. Some of the best dividend stocks are utility companies, and in 2010, Consolidated Edison proved that it is one of the most reliable utilities that you can own. The company increased its annual distribution for the 36th consecutive year with a dividend yield of 5.3%. This provider of electricity and gas should remain an impressive, dependable income producer for many years to come.
- Health Care REIT, Inc. Bloomberg expects healthcare related stocks to become some of the best dividend stocks in the near future. Firms in the healthcare real estate field should do especially well. Health Care REIT paid a handsome dividend of 6.3% in 2010 and should continue to pay attractive dividends for the foreseeable future as it steadily increases its income-producing holdings.
- Cincinnati Financial Corp. This company is a property and casualty insurer. Well-run insurance companies have a license to print money, and Cincinnati Financial has proven to be one of the best dividend stocks over time. Management is committed to paying hefty dividends. In 2010, dividend yield was about 5.9%. Every year for 50 years, Cincinnati Financial has increased dividend payouts, an enviable record for any company.
- Pitney Bowes, Inc. This company is involved in the shipping and office supply business and has worldwide operations. It is also a major player in the software industry. This company is one of the best dividend stocks because its management is committed to both dividend payout and corporate growth. In 2010, the company rewarded shareholders with an impressive 6.5% dividend. Pitney Bowes has nice cash flow and should be able to continue making substantial dividend distributions in the future.