Dividends4Life: Forget Altria, These Are the Best Dividend Stocks to Own

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Though Altria Group (NYSE:MO) operates in the challenging U.S. tobacco industry, thanks to cigarette volume remaining in secular decline, the company controls roughly 50% of the U.S. cigarette market and continues to dish out a dividend yield of nearly 4%. However, despite the challenging market, the company's addictive products provide the company with strong pricing power that should keep Altria's cigarette business lucrative in the near term. If Altria isn't your style, three Foolish contributors offer strong dividend stocks that should have brighter futures than Altria.

Altria may have this company beat in terms of dividend yield, but in terms of long-term dividend potential, I don't think Altria can hold a candle to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Microsoft is reinventing itself as a giant in cloud-based services, and its Office-anywhere approach is solidifying its de facto standing as the dominant player in productivity software. AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) has a dividend yield similar to Altria, currently sitting at about 3.8%, but its future seems much brighter. AbbVie has a trump card in the form of an immunology drug named Humira, which is going to drive very strong cash flows for the company despite its patent ending at the end of 2016. Altria may boast a solid 3.7% annual dividend yield, but I think Nike (NYSE:NKE) offers a much healthier combination of dividend growth and potential share price appreciation -- not to mention the stark contrast of Nike's exercise-centric products against those of the tobacco giant.

Source: Motley Fool

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