Dividend income is great, but stocks that yield just 2% or 3% may not provide a whole lot of incentive to hold those investments long term, especially since there are higher-yielding options available that aren't high risk. With dividends higher than 4% per year, the stocks below are paying investors well without exposing them to significant risks:
Bank of Nova Scotia ( BNS -1.10% ) is a top bank stock in Canada that not only offers investors a lot of stability, but also a great dividend as well. Scotiabank issued its first dividend back in 1833, and the company is now closing in on 200 years of dividend payments. And with the bank still producing consistent, growing profits over the years, there's no reason investors should be concerned about its ability to keep the payments going.
The bank stock has also consistently increased its dividend payments over the years. According to the company, it has increased payments annually in 43 of the past 45 years. The financial crisis that took place 10 years ago put a dent into Scotiabank's track record, as it did not raise payouts during that time. However, since then, Scotiabank has continued to hike its dividend payments and looks like a good bet to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
The one variable for U.S. investors will be that since dividend payments are in Canadian dollars, foreign exchange will result in some fluctuations along the way. But with a yield of 4.7%, Scotiabank is likely to still provide you with a payout of well over 4%.
PetMed Express ( PETS -0.07% ) isn't going to be as safe as a bank stock like Scotiabank, but the pet pharmacy retailer has also seen a lot of consistency in its results over the years. Net income of $20.6 million back in fiscal 2016 has nearly doubled to $37.7 million in the company's most recent fiscal year. And what's impressive is that has happened even though PetMed has seen a modest 21% increase in sales during that time.
Over the past 12 months, the company has paid out $22.2 million in dividends, which is nowhere near the $41.4 million it has generated in free cash flow. There's a lot of room for the company's payouts to rise, and that's exactly what PetMed stock has been doing in recent years. Quarterly dividend payments of $0.27 have increased by 59% from the $0.17 that the company was paying investors five years ago. That averages out to an annual increase of about 9.7% per year.
Although PetMed has only been paying dividends since 2009, it's been creating a strong track record for itself. And with a yield of around 4.8% per year, it gives investors a great payout to add to their portfolio.
Seagate Technology ( STX ) is a unique dividend stock for investors because the tech stock is not your typical income investment. For one, it has the potential to produce significant returns for investors, like it has this year with its share price rising by more than 50% since the beginning of January. And with Seagate's strong financials, the stock also offers investors a very safe dividend as well.
Like PetMed, Seagate's free cash of over $1 billion has been more than enough to handle its dividend payments totaling $702 million during the past 12 months.
Currently yielding 4.4% per year, the company's dividend may only add a modest amount to the stock's impressive returns this year, but it can help provide investors with some consistency and offer bigger boosts in off years. Like the other two stocks on this list, Seagate has also increased its payouts over the years, but they've been far from a sure thing. While the company has recently hiked its quarterly payments from $0.63 to $0.65, that's the first increase investors have seen since 2015.
Nonetheless, finding a good tech stock that also offers a solid dividend is not easy, and that's why Seagate is a very attractive option for investors who are looking for both dividends and capital appreciation. The company could also have a much safer future than some of its peers given its disciplined approach and focus on a strong and steady bottom line.
The three stocks above give investors a little bit of everything to choose from. For the risk-averse, there's the stability of Scotiabank to fall back on. Investors looking for long-term growth may be enticed by the potential growth that PetMed has and its impressive results thus far. And finally, for tech lovers, Seagate can allow you to collect a dividend while also investing in one of the big names in the industry.