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3 Dividend Stocks That Had a Record Year and Are Just Getting Started

By Rich Duprey - Updated Jun 8, 2021 at 3:33PM

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There's still plenty of room to run for these businesses that also reward shareholders with juicy payouts.

Investors often buy dividend-paying stocks for the revenue stream they produce, knowing the share price might not appreciate the same as a growth-oriented company. 

Yet when you can combine record financial results, significant stock value gains, and a more than modest dividend, it's an investing triple play that shouldn't be ignored. Below are three stocks that achieved all three and appear ready to keep on performing too.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Franklin Resources

It doesn't hurt Franklin Resources (BEN 0.21%) that we're still in the midst of a bull market, as the financial services provider does especially well in rising markets. That certainly played out in its fiscal second-quarter earnings results, as revenue rose 58% from the year-ago period and net income nearly quintupled as the benefits of its Legg Mason acquisition last summer continue to pay off.

Yet its alternative assets portfolio of real estate, alternative credit, and hedge fund business helped drive record net inflows of $2.9 billion, almost doubling the amount it realized last year.

That has helped lead Franklin Resources stock to gain 68.5% over the past year, with most of the gains occurring in 2021. The pandemic hurt the asset manager's performance last year as money was pulled out of accounts. It saw almost $62 billion in net long-term outflows, but adding the respected business of Legg Mason provides it with new, strategically important investment manager capabilities.

With an annual dividend of $1.12 per share that yields 3.2%, investors have good reason to believe Franklin Resources can continue on the path higher it's currently on.

Advance Auto Parts

The stock of aftermarket auto parts retailer Advance Auto Parts (AAP -1.19%) recently hit an all-time high, continuing a sharp march higher that began just over a year ago. Now it's starting to see growth accelerate and there's good reason to believe it's not going to stop anytime soon.

Despite the pandemic, new car prices are far outpacing the rise in inflation, rising 8% to $37,200, according to J.D. Power. That's also helped lift used car prices, which means vehicle owners thinking about trading in their old car for a new or used one will give it a second thought. It just may be cheaper to fix the one they have.

That played into Advance Auto Parts' first-quarter earnings results, which were a record for the retailer. President and CEO Tom Greco said strong industry trends helped deliver "record-breaking sales growth across our business, as both DIY and professional customers turned to Advance for their automotive needs."

What could drive sales even higher is the computer chip shortage playing out across the semiconductor industry and trickling down to almost all other businesses. Car manufacturers are shutting down production lines, which means fewer cars on dealer lots -- and this could cause prices for new and used cars to rise further.

Advance Auto Parts pays a dividend of $4 per share that looks as solid as ever and currently yields 2.1% annually.

Simon Property Group

Mall operator Simon Property Group (SPG 0.43%) is arguably the riskiest investment of the three because it is venturing into new territory few have tried: being both landlord and tenant by owning malls and some of the previously bankrupt retailers who occupy them.

Simon Property Group and its regular partner in these deals, Authentic Brands Group, picked a good time to go into the business. Coming out of the severe funk they were thrown into by the pandemic, retailers are rallying and Simon's portfolio of properties is by and large producing results well above expectations.

The group of distressed businesses outperformed on their sales plan by more than $135 million and their gross margin plan by more than $75 million, with even department store chain J.C. Penney operating above plan.

Being on both sides of the transaction, however, may become challenging in a market downturn as the impact of a recession could be multiplied. Fortunately Simon operates top tier Class A malls, which tend to hold up better than their Class B and C peers, and this new venture is still just a tiny part of its overall operations.

That suggests Simon's dividend of $5.20 per share yielding 3.9% is likely not at risk and it should still benefit from retail's recovery. While it may be a risky play, the rewards just might be worth it.

Rich Duprey owns shares of Franklin Resources. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Simon Property Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Simon Property Group, Inc.
$113.33 (0.43%) $0.49
Franklin Resources, Inc. Stock Quote
Franklin Resources, Inc.
$28.46 (0.21%) $0.06
Advance Auto Parts, Inc. Stock Quote
Advance Auto Parts, Inc.
$207.49 (-1.19%) $-2.49

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