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The Top 25 High-Yield Dividend Aristocrats

Dividend-paying companies are an oasis in the desert of underperforming stocks. They offer solid payouts today and the promise of capital gains tomorrow. According to a study by Ibbotson, reinvested dividends made up about 40% of total stock returns from 1926 to 2006. In fact, dividend investing is so appealing that superinvestor Warren Buffett has made it a significant component of his portfolio.

When searching for great dividend stocks, it makes a lot of sense to start with companies that have been playing the dividend game the longest. Standard & Poor's has culled the dividend winners from the also-rans in a list it calls the "Dividend Aristocrats." But Standard & Poor's has also created another similar index that it calls the High Yield Dividend Aristocrats.

According to Standard & Poor's, "The S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats index is designed to measure the performance of the 60 highest dividend yielding S&P Composite 1500 constituents which have followed a managed dividends policy of consistently increasing dividends every year for at least 25 years."

Let's examine the top 25 high-yield dividend aristocrats ranked by yield. For context, I've also included their five-year annualized dividend growth rate.

Company

Trailing Yield

5-Year Dividend Growth Rate

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL  )

6.8%

64.3%

Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI  )

6.0%

3.2%

National Retail Properties (NYSE: NNN  )

5.9%

3.1%

Mercury General (NYSE: MCY  )

5.9%

6.1%

HCP (NYSE: HCP  )

5.2%

2.5%

Cincinnati Financial (Nasdaq: CINF  )

5.2%

5.0%

Vectren (NYSE: VVC  )

4.9%

2.7%

Black Hills (NYSE: BKH  )

4.6%

2.4%

Universal Corp. (NYSE: UVV  )

4.4%

2.3%

Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED  )

4.4%

0.9%

Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG  )

4.2%

10.8%

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB  )

4.1%

7.8%

Atmos Energy (NYSE: ATO  )

4.0%

1.6%

WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL  )

4.0%

2.6%

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE: NWN  )

3.8%

4.9%

Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY  )

3.7%

4.0%

RPM International (NYSE: RPM  )

3.6%

6.0%

Questar (NYSE: STR  )

3.6%

4.6%

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT  )

3.6%

10%

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  )

3.4%

10.4%

Diebold (NYSE: DBD  )

3.4%

5.6%

Sonoco Products (NYSE: SON  )

3.3%

4.0%

Genuine Parts (NYSE: GPC  )

3.2%

5.7%

UGI Corp (NYSE: UGI  )

3.2%

8.2%

Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  )

3.1%

11.5%

These aren't formal recommendations -- just ideas for your own further research. Still, they could give you a great start toward find companies capable of paying rising dividends for a quarter-century or more.

Get the best dividend stocks you can find. Read the Fool's special report, "13 High-Yielding Stocks to Buy Today." It's free.

Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Piedmont Natural Gas, Procter & Gamble, and UGI; as well as creating a diagonal call position on J&J. The Motley Fool owns shares of Abbott Laboratories and J&J. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 17, 2011, at 9:29 AM, Begappy wrote:

    Not True! One paying higher is BMNM.OB = 15.10%. One special Div. paid 100% for my entire purchase.

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