Investing in dividend stocks boils down to two steps. First, find stocks that pay attractive dividends. Second, eliminate any stocks lacking the strong underlying businesses needed to ensure the dividends keep coming. It's really that simple.
The main drawback to that two-part method is that you'll still have a lot of stocks from which to choose. How do you whittle down the list? That's where other considerations come into play, such as track records of dividend increases and growth prospects.
Your ideal candidates will check off all the boxes. Here are three top dividend stocks to buy right now that achieve that goal.
If you're looking for an attractive dividend stock, AbbVie (ABBV 2.81%) should be really high on your list. Its dividend yield currently stands at 4.9%. The big drugmaker has increased its dividend for 49 consecutive years, qualifying it as a Dividend Aristocrat (S&P 500 members that have at least 25 years in a row of dividend hikes).
Can AbbVie keep its streak of dividend increases going? The company's top-selling drug, Humira, faces biosimilar competition in the U.S. beginning in 2023. That almost certainly means the drug's sales will sink and negatively impact AbbVie's finances.
However, dividend-seeking investors shouldn't have anything to worry about. The company already markets two autoimmune disease drugs poised to take the baton from Humira. AbbVie expects Rinvoq and Skyrizi will generate combined sales of $15 billion by 2025. Its lineup also includes other products with strong momentum, such as blood cancer drugs Imbruvica and Venclexta.
AbbVie's sales growth should be robust in 2021 and 2022. The company expects that its total revenue will decline in 2023. However, AbbVie thinks it will quickly return to revenue growth in subsequent years.
2. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
I suspect you'll also like Brookfield Infrastructure Partners' (BIP 1.28%) dividend yield of 3.7%. The company isn't a Dividend Aristocrat like AbbVie because it's only been in business since 2008 and isn't a member of the S&P 500. However, Brookfield Infrastructure's dividend track record is a good one, with a 10% compound annual growth rate for its distribution.
Brookfield Infrastructure runs the kind of businesses that are ideal for generating steady income. Its assets include cell towers, data centers, natural gas pipelines, ports, railroads, and toll roads.
Economic recessions and pandemics don't affect Brookfield Infrastructure all that much. Around 70% of its business is pretty well insulated from macroeconomic disruptions. The company's diversification and long-term contracts help provide a nice safety cushion.
Brookfield Infrastructure's management refers to the company as a "grow-tility." The company is similar to a utility (most of its business consists of utilities). However, it also delivers solid double-digit growth.
3. Innovative Industrial Properties
First of all, the dividend yield isn't nearly as high it would otherwise be because IIP stock has skyrocketed nearly 700% over the last three years. During the same period, the company's dividend payout nearly quadrupled.
IIP continues to benefit from the boom in the U.S. marijuana market. The company buys properties from medical cannabis operators, then leases the properties back to them. These sale-leaseback deals give IIP steady recurring revenue that continues for years.
The company currently owns 67 properties in 17 states. It should have plenty of room to continue expanding in these states. There are also another 18 states where medical cannabis is legal that IIP could potentially move into down the road. A fast-growing dividend and solid growth prospects make IIP a great dividend stock to buy right now.