According to a recent study, 44 million Americans have a side hustle that brings in extra cash. Whether you're in that group or not, most people want to make more money. One way to do that is by investing cash in things that generate income, such as dividend-paying stocks. Three quality options to consider are Dominion Energy (NYSE:D), Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE:BEP), and MPLX (NYSE:MPLX).
Not your average utility
Dominion Energy is one of the largest utility holding companies in the U.S., currently serving 2.6 million electric and 2.3 million gas customers in the eastern side of the country. That base business generates steady cash flow for the company as customers pay their energy bills each month, giving it the money to fund an attractive 4.8%-yielding dividend. Dominion has a long history of paying dividends, with its current streak continuing unabated for the last 360 quarters.
What sets Dominion apart from most other utilities is how fast it expects to increase that payout in the coming years. The company currently estimates that it can grow earnings at a more than 8% compound annual growth rate through 2020, which should support a 10% yearly increase in the dividend over that time frame. For perspective, that's about double the growth rate of its peers. Fueling that high-powered forecast are the expansion projects it has underway and its pending merger with fellow utility SCANA. That transaction with SCANA is a game changer for Dominion because it will improve its earnings growth profile from 6% to 8% per year as a stand-alone entity up to the more than 8% annual rate it now forecasts. That faster-paced growth, coupled with Dominion's sound financials, makes it a solid dividend stock to consider.
A cleaner income stream
Brookfield Renewable Partners is a global leader in generating renewable power by operating a large fleet of hydroelectric plants and wind farms. However, instead of distributing this electricity directly to customers, Brookfield sells it to utilities under long-term contracts, which provides it with stable cash flow to support a 6.5%-yielding cash distribution to its investors.
That payout should also head higher in the coming years, with Brookfield Renewable aiming to increase it at a 5% to 9% annual rate, which is a slightly faster pace than the 6% compound annual growth rate it has delivered since 2012. Several factors should combine to power that growing income stream, including the wind farms and hydropower projects it has under development in Europe and Brazil. The combination of Brookfield's strong balance sheet and low distribution payout ratio of 70% of cash flow should provide investors with a steadily growing income stream for years to come.
A high yield with ample upside
MPLX offers the highest current yield of the group at 7.2%. Supporting the payout is the energy midstream MLP's ability to generate very stable income by leasing capacity on its pipelines and storage facilities to oil and gas companies under long-term contracts. That said, like the others on this list, that payout should head higher in the coming years, which would extend a streak that recently reached 20 consecutive quarterly increases.
In fact, MPLX plans to increase the payout by 10% this year. Fueling the company's forecast is the recent completion of a string of transactions with parent company Marathon Petroleum, which included dropping down the rest of the midstream assets it owned to streamline the focus of both companies. That said, the company should have plenty of fuel to grow the payout beyond 2018 since it expects to invest $2.2 billion on expansion projects this year. Add in the fact that this MLP boasts financial metrics near the top of its sector, and its high-yielding payout should climb continuously in the coming years.
Good options for earning extra income
These dividend-paying stocks are ideal options for those looking to put their cash to work in generating more money. That's because they're all high-quality businesses that produce stable income to support their lucrative payouts. Furthermore, all retain a large enough portion of their income that they use alongside their strong balance sheets to build and buy additional cash-flowing assets that should power dependable dividend increases each year. That formula has proved successful for these three companies in the past and should continue delivering for investors in the years ahead.