There's nothing more exciting on planet Earth than dividend stocks.
OK, I know that's laying it on thick. There are plenty of more exciting things. Still, though, dividend stocks are pretty exciting when you consider the long-term wealth they can generate. And there are more solid dividend stocks than you can shake a stick at (if you enjoy shaking sticks).
AT&T is a telecommunications giant with a gigantic dividend. Its yield currently stands north of 5%. And AT&T's dividend continues to grow. The company has hiked its dividend for the past 33 consecutive years.
I'm not worried in the least that AT&T's dividend streak will end anytime soon. The company's cash flow looks to be rock-solid. It's easy to see why. AT&T generates most of its revenue by providing wireless and internet services. Those are two things that have become necessities for most Americans.
Granted, AT&T faces some challenges. There's more competition in the telecom industry now than in the past. A few of these companies have cut or even eliminated their dividend programs. However, I don't think AT&T is in any danger of going down those paths. Its dividend appears to be pretty safe.
The company also should be able to grow in the future. AT&T awaits regulatory approval to acquire Time Warner. The deal would give AT&T a huge video content library to use in offering new products to customers. In addition, AT&T is building high-speed 5G networks that will be used in many applications, including navigation for self-driving cars.
Intel is another giant in its field that offers an attractive dividend. It's the biggest chipmaker in the world -- and has held that spot for a long time. Intel's dividend currently yields just over 3%. Although the company can't claim the impressive run of dividend increases that AT&T can, Intel is in great position for future dividend hikes with a low payout ratio of 40%.
There are a couple of key challenges for Intel, however. The PC market has been somewhat sluggish, which dampened demand for the company's chips. Intel also faces intense competition. Will these factors impact the company's ability to keep the dividends flowing? I don't think so.
Despite challenges, Intel also has some tremendous opportunities. The biggest of these lie in non-volatile memory and autonomous vehicles. Intel thinks these two areas present the potential for $200 billion in revenue.
While A&T is working hard to roll out 5G networks, Intel has already built the first 5G-ready platform for the auto industry. This platform powers all of the sophisticated artificial intelligence needed for self-driving cars to operate.
I like AbbVie so much that I already own the stock. This big biotech claims the top-selling drug in the world with Humira. It also boasts one of the best dividends in the healthcare industry, with a current yield of 3.64%.
If you like AT&T's track record for dividend increases, you'll probably love AbbVie. The company has increased its dividend for 45 years in a row, counting the period that it was part of Abbott Labs. Since being spun off from Abbott in 2013, AbbVie has increased its dividend by 60%.
The biggest question mark for AbbVie right now is over competition for Humira. Amgen won Food and Drug Administration approval for a biosimilar to the autoimmune disease drug last year. So far, however, that biosimilar hasn't reached the market. AbbVie is trying to use its patent portfolio for Humira to keep Amgen from selling its product. The court trial between the two biotechs begins in November 2019. AbbVie thinks it will be able to prevent U.S. biosimilar competition for Humira through 2022.
In the meantime, AbbVie has a big winner with its cancer drug Imbruvica. The biotech also has a stellar drug pipeline with multiple candidates that have the potential to generate sales in the billions of dollars.