High-yield dividend stocks appeal to income investors, and many people start off by just looking at the stocks that have the top yields in the market. Yet high-yield stocks often carry risks, and many such stocks have subsequently cut their payouts, leading to both reduction in income for shareholders and an immediate drop in the stock price. It's important to weigh risk and reward to find the dividend stocks with the best prospects going forward. Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD), BP (NYSE:BP), and Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) all have trailing dividend yields of 6% or more, but they also have the capacity to grow and thrive in the future.
Enterprise Products Partners
Enterprise Products Partners operates one of the largest pipeline and energy-processing networks in the U.S., and that has brought immense volatility to the master limited partnership's shares in recent years. Theoretically, Enterprise should be sheltered somewhat from fluctuations in the price of crude oil because of its business model, which includes extensive use of fee-based service contracts with minimum volume commitments. Yet when prices plunge, production levels go down as well, and that leaves Enterprise with spare capacity it can't always use to generate more profit.
From a dividend perspective, Enterprise looks promising because it not only has established cash-flow drivers but also considerable future development ahead. Its current yield of 6.2% reflects a steady distribution history that has included increases on a quarterly basis dating back for years. Building out energy infrastructure is expensive, but Enterprise has the capacity to take advantage of a more favorable regulatory environment to get projects moving forward. That should bolster its income even further, giving shareholders the chance to get even larger distributions.
For years, BP has suffered from the reputational damage that the Gulf oil spill had on its brand. In conjunction with poor performance from the equity markets, BP stock has struggled to make headway, and dividend income has been the sole source of positive return for shareholders over the past decade. Fortunately, that income has been extensive, with the current yield amounting to 6.7%.
Going forward, though, things are looking up for BP. The company reported solid results in the first quarter of 2017, including a 45% jump in revenue that helped the oil giant reverse a year-ago loss with a profit of almost $1.5 billion. In particular, favorable performance from BP's refinery operations has contributed to its recovery, and the company has several major capital projects in its pipeline that should start to appear in its production figures within the next three to four years. Between new discoveries, forward progress on existing projects, and making its operations as efficient as possible, BP hopes to leave more money for shareholders as dividends in the future.
Alternative assets have taken the investing world by storm, as investors look for ways to profit from opportunities beyond the public markets. As one of the most important private equity companies in the world, Blackstone manages hedge funds, private equity investments, real estate, and other alternative assets. With financial markets performing well, Blackstone has had the wind at its back for a while, and that has helped keep its distributions to shareholders high.
For dividend investors, Blackstone has the disadvantage of not having a fixed payout, which can lead to dramatic changes in quarterly distributions. However, when you add up what Blackstone has paid its investors over the past 12 months, it works out to $2.11 per share, or a yield of about 6.5%. With future opportunities including a new infrastructure fund to take advantage of the U.S. government's plans to ramp up spending on key improvements, Blackstone is quick to seize opportunities when they arise.
High-yield dividend stocks are tempting, but some have risks that don't offer enough reward. By contrast, these three stocks have the capacity for future growth as well as an enticing current level of income, and that should make them attractive to many dividend investors.