For income investors, there's no magic remedy for low interest rates. However, adding dividend stocks is likely your best response. These three companies might not sport the highest dividend yields around, but they're worth owning in 2014.
Baxter International's (NYSE: BAX ) dividend yield recently hit 3%. The medical-devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotech company raised its dividend 9% this year and nearly doubled it over the past five years. The company's geographic and product diversification reduces risk related to U.S. health care reform efforts, while its strong pipeline of new product opportunities provides long-term growth opportunities. Baxter's management is focusing on improving margins and growing the business. The company's solid cash flow and strong balance sheet have allowed it to make acquisitions, buy back shares, and raise its dividend. As Baxter's margins grow, the company will have even more leeway to increase its already attractive dividend.
Accenture (NYSE: ACN ) recently yielded 2.5%. Although the IT services firm has only paid a dividend since 2005, it has increased its dividend for eight consecutive years. The management consulting and technology-services company raised its dividend 15% in November. The company has also grown its dividend more than 18% on average annually in the last three years. Boasting a payout ratio of only 35%, the company has plenty of room to continue to grow its dividend. The Ireland-based company is focused on profitable growth and has reported improving profitability in a highly competitive market. Even in this tough economy, Accenture's expected to continuously improve profitability by controlling costs, limiting its risk exposure, and delivering more solutions from low-cost offshore sites.
Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU ) pays a dividend of 2.2%. The energy company increased its dividend 54% earlier this year. And during the past three years, Suncor boosted its dividend by more than 96%! Sporting a mere 35% payout ratio, the dividend still holds a lot of growth potential. Suncor is the largest energy company in Canada and the fifth-largest in North America, as well as the leading producer in the Canadian Oil Sands. Strong production growth is expected in the future due to Suncor's access to significant sources of new oil reserves. The company boasts more than three decades of reserves at current production rates. All are likely reasons Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway took a small stake in the energy company earlier this year.
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