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2 Top Dividend Stocks to Buy Right Now

By Joe Tenebruso - Oct 12, 2019 at 10:45AM

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These reliable cash generators can help you build a steadily growing income stream.

Well-chosen dividend stocks are powerful wealth creators. They can add both growth and stability to your investment portfolio -- while putting stacks of cash in your pocket.

Here are two dividend stocks that can help you protect and grow your wealth.

Rolls of dollar bills rising in a stairstep-like fashion.

Image source: Getty Images.

The weapons master

Lockheed Martin (LMT -0.40%) is the world's largest defense contractor. At the core of its well-stocked weapons portfolio lies the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The stealth warplane is slated to play a vital part in the Pentagon's defense strategy, as well as that of as many as 13 other countries.

The F-35 is expected to remain operational until 2070. Over the next 50+ years, Lockheed Martin is projected to generate more than $1 trillion in sales from the weapons platform. This gives the defense leader an incredible level of revenue visibility and stability over the next five decades, which helps reduce risk for investors.

Lockheed Martin also continues to generate sizable profits from older weapon systems, such as the venerable F-16. Additionally, the company has a powerful presence in helicopters, missiles, and space systems -- all of which are likely to enjoy strong demand in the coming years.

In all, Lockheed Martin's current backlog of projects stands at a staggering $137 billion. The company expects to deliver more than $58 billion in revenue and $7.6 billion in operating cash flow in 2019 alone. Lockheed is committed to passing much of this cash on to shareholders via its steadily growing dividend, which currently yields 2.5%.

The trash titan

Garbage may not be as sexy as fighter jets, but it's arguably an even more beautiful business.

Waste Management (WM -0.18%) is the leading provider of waste solutions in North America. It owns the largest network of landfills, recycling centers, and transfer stations in the industry. The garbage giant's landfills are nearly irreplaceable assets, which together form a wide moat around its business. Strict regulations and strong homeowner opposition make it difficult to build new waste facilities. This gives Waste Management pricing power -- the ability to raise prices while maintaining sales -- and helps to insulate its profits from the competition.

In 2018, the company generated nearly $15 billion in revenue and more than $2 billion in free cash flow. Like Lockheed Martin, Waste Management passes much of this cash on to investors via share repurchases and a rising dividend income stream. The company increased its payout by 10.2% to an annualized $2.05 (representing a current yield of 1.8%) in December, marking the 16th straight year that it's raised its dividend.

Looking ahead, price increases combined with low-single-digit volume gains should help to drive Waste Management's revenue and cash flow steadily higher over time. The trash titan also likes to make several small acquisitions each year to further boost its market share and cash flow production. Management expects these drivers to help revenue and free cash flow grow by approximately 5% and 6%, respectively, over the next three years. This, in turn, should allow Waste Management to reward investors with more dividend increases in the years ahead.

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Waste Management. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Lockheed Martin Corporation Stock Quote
Lockheed Martin Corporation
$426.41 (-0.40%) $-1.72
Waste Management, Inc. Stock Quote
Waste Management, Inc.
$168.83 (-0.18%) $0.30

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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