Dividend stocks can make you rich. Companies that are poised to grow their cash payouts can be particularly attractive investments, as investors tend to favor businesses that can provide them with rising income streams.
Here are three excellent dividend growth stocks to consider buying today.
Microsoft (MSFT 3.37%) offers investors a powerful wealth-building combination of financial strength and intriguing growth potential. With more than $70 billion in net cash on its fortress-like balance sheet and annual operating income exceeding $50 billion, Microsoft has all the cash it needs to reward shareholders with a steadily rising dividend, even as it invests aggressively in promising new technologies.
One area in which Microsoft is wisely investing is the cloud. Its Azure cloud computing platform and Microsoft 365 productivity software -- which includes cloud-based versions of Word and Excel -- are benefiting from powerful trends, including digital transformation and remote workforces. Microsoft's booming cloud operations are fueling its growth, and they're likely to continue to do so well into the coming decade.
Microsoft's stock currently yields 1.1%. Its relatively modest yield is more a reflection of the stock's torrid gains -- shares are up a staggering 300% over the past five years -- than it is Microsoft's willingness to increase its payout. In fact, the tech titan has raised its dividend by 65% of the past five years and nearly 300% over the past decade, according to YCharts. With its cloud businesses driving its growth, you can expect Microsoft to continue to boost its cash payout in the years ahead.
Bank of America
Banks have been hit hard by the coronavirus-driven economic downturn. The Federal Reserve's interest rate cuts -- which were initiated to help stabilize the economy -- also haven't helped; banks' net interest margins tend to fall along with interest rates. All these factors have conspired to drive the prices of bank stocks lower -- and Bank of America (BAC 2.95%) is looking like a particularly attractive bargain today.
Bank of America's stock can currently be had for only 0.93 times book value. Book value is essentially a company's assets minus its liabilities. The chance to buy shares of one of the best banks in America for less than the value of its net assets is an opportunity long-term investors shouldn't pass up -- and it's not likely to last long.
With recent job figures suggesting that the economy could be recovering faster than many economists expected, banks might see their profits quickly rebound. That could ignite a rally in their stocks. Investors who buy shares in Bank of America today could be well rewarded, particularly if a rapid economic recovery allows it to continue to grow its dividend, which is already up 50% over the past three years.
Better still, you'll be paid handsomely as you wait for an eventual recovery; Bank of America's stock currently yields a solid 2.7%.
Unlike many less fortunate companies, Home Depot's (HD 2.81%) business has held up well during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the home improvement giant's same-store sales rose an impressive 6.4% in the first quarter. That helped its revenue rise by 7.1%, to $28.3 billion.
The gains were fueled by an uptick in do-it-yourself projects, which people completed while abiding by stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 crisis. Many of these people went online to order the items they needed for their projects, boosting Home Depot's e-commerce sales to levels typically only seen on Black Friday. Strong sales of cleaning supplies and safety-related products also contributed to the gains.
Home Depot's shares currently yield 2.4%. Dividend growth investors will appreciate the fact that the home improvement leader has raised its cash payout for 11 consecutive years, most recently by 10% in February. And with its e-commerce operations fueling its growth, Home Depot's shareholders can expect more dividend increases in the coming years.