If you're an income investor, you the dividend stocks in your portfolio to have the right balance. While you want a high yield, you also don't want one that's so high the payouts risk being cut. The average S&P 500 stock pays investors about 2% in dividends, and that's why aiming for higher than that -- 3% or better -- can be a good plan.
Here are three dividend stocks that pay more than 3% in dividends that are also good value buys that you can add to your portfolio today:
Gilead Sciences (GILD 0.97%) is a stock many investors are putting into their portfolios today because of the potential that the company's drug, remdesivir, has in treating people with COVID-19. While the studies thus far are a bit underwhelming and even conflicting, people are still holding out hope that the drug might be the best option to fight the disease.
But regardless of whether you believe remdesivir will prove to be effective against COVID-19, the company itself is a good investment if you're after a solid dividend. Currently, Gilead pays a quarterly dividend of $0.68. At a share price of about $75, that means investors who buy the stock today can earn a dividend yield of over 3.6%.
Gilead's reported a profit in eight of its past nine quarters, and the free cash flow the company's generated over the past two years has consistently been higher than the amount of dividends it's paid out during that time. The dividend seems safe, and Gilead's also been increasing payouts in recent years. Three years ago, the quarterly payments were $0.52. They've risen 31% since then.
The stock's currently trading at about 19 times its earnings, which also makes it a decent value buy.
As a tech company selling computers and printers, HP (HPQ 1.50%) can give dividend investors a great way to diversify. The tech industry is not typically known for paying a high dividend. However, with quarterly payments of $0.1762, HP's currently providing its shareholders with a dividend yield of 4.3%.
One of the reasons HP needs to offer investors some incentive is that its sales numbers aren't terribly good; in the company's second-quarter results, released May 27, net revenue was down 11.2% year over year. COVID-19 is impacting the business, and HP -- along with its partners -- is producing items including respirators, ventilators, face shields, and face masks, to help hospitals.
But even prior to the pandemic, the company's most recent fiscal-year sales were flat. However, what's important is that the company is still profitable and outside of its most recent quarter, it's been generating more than enough free cash flow to support its dividend payments in the past two years.
HP's undergone many changes over the years since its 2015 announcement that it would be splitting off from its enterprise business, which now trades as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE 6.44%). But the company, which is now focused on printing and personal computers, is a simpler and less complicated investment. And with more people working from home, there's potential for sales to get stronger in the quarters and years ahead.
Shares of HP are also dirt cheap, trading at less than 8 times earnings.
3M (MMM -0.04%) is rising in popularity this year as the company's safety products, most notably masks, are in high demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In first-quarter results April 28, 3M reported modest sales growth of 2.7% from the prior-year period. However, the conglomerate saw 21% growth in its healthcare segment, and its consumer business was also up 4.6%.
In April, things began to slow down, with sales declining 11% year over year. Healthcare continued to be a bright spot, growing by 5%.
3M's business is diverse, and that allows the company to be stable, even during a pandemic or a recession. The company's sales over the past seven years have fallen within the fairly narrow range of $30 billion to $33 billion. 3M's also posted a profit in each of those years, with at least 14% of revenue trickling through to the bottom line.
And, like the other stocks on this list, 3M's free cash flow is strong; in each of the last 10 years, it's been higher than the cash the company's paid out in dividends. However, that shouldn't come as much of a surprise to investors given that 3M is a Dividend King that's been paying a dividend for more than 100 years in a row. In February, it increased its payouts for a 62nd straight year.
Currently, 3M pays its shareholders a quarterly dividend of $1.47, which yields 3.9% today. The company's latest increase was a 2% bump up from its previous dividend payment of $1.44.
3M is another good value buy to add to your portfolio, with its stock trading at just 18 times earnings.
Which dividend stock is the best one to own today?
Although all the dividend stocks listed here pay more than the typical S&P 500 stock, only Gilead's stock has performed better than the index this year:
Gilead's also the best stock of the three to buy today. It pays a solid dividend, and it also gives investors a wild card in remdesivir. If the drug takes off and is effective in battling COVID-19, it could send the stock's value soaring. And if it doesn't, the drug manufacturer still makes for a solid, safe investment to hang on to for the long term.