Income investors often shy away from high-yielding dividend stocks because of the risk. If a stock is paying 10% or more, it's not likely that the dividend will remain at that yield for too long. But if you are patient, it isn't impossible to earn back that high of a percentage of your original investment. Dividend growth stocks pay more over time and can help you get to that level.
Two top income stocks that you should consider today are AbbVie (ABBV -0.63%) and Enbridge (ENB -1.11%). They already pay better than the S&P 500 average of 1.4% and have solid track records for dividend growth. And within just five years, you could be making more than 10% on them -- just in dividends.
Investors who buy shares of AbbVie today will earn $1.30 per share in quarterly dividends for each share they own. That's a yield of 4.6% and would already earn you an impressive $1,150 per year on a $25,000 investment. The payout ratio might look worrisome at first; the company's earnings per share over the trailing 12 months came in at $2.69, while its annual dividend would be $5.20 at the current rate. But the company is expecting to come bouncing back in 2021, with its diluted EPS coming in between $7.27 and $7.47; that would put its payout ratio at no higher than 72%.
Now that its acquisition of Botox-maker Allergan is complete, AbbVie's business is larger, more diverse, and in a better position to take advantage of a strong U.S. economy that is looking to get back to normal this year.
Five years ago, the healthcare stock was paying a quarterly dividend of $0.57. Its payouts have gone on to increase by 128% since then, averaging a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.9%. If the company were to continue to raise its payouts at that rate over the next five years, the dividend could rise to $2.96. By then, on that $25,000 investment -- which would net you approximately 221 shares of AbbVie -- you could be earning more than $2,600, or slightly more than 10%.
AbbVie is a top income stock that is also a Dividend Aristocrat, and it can make for a safe investment that you can hold in your portfolio for many years.
Another Dividend Aristocrat that you will want to consider is pipeline company Enbridge. While some investors may worry about the uncertainty of the oil and gas sector, that shouldn't deter you from what could be a great long-term investment. The demand for transporting oil isn't going away anytime soon, and Enbridge benefits from having long-term contracts in place to provide its business with stability.
Over the trailing 12 months, it has generated 7 billion Canadian dollars in profit on revenue of CA$39 billion, for a net margin of 17%. Its EPS of CA$3.13 doesn't appear strong enough to support its quarterly dividend, which at CA$0.835 would total CA$3.34 over a full year. But Enbridge and other oil and gas companies use distributable cash flow (DCF) to assess their ability to pay dividends. DCF excludes noncontrolling interests, maintenance-related capital expenditures, and other items that are not relevant in evaluating a company's day-to-day operations. And on a per-share basis, Enbridge forecasts that for 2021, its DCF will fall between CA$4.70 and CA$5, putting its payout ratio at no higher than 71%.
You could expect to earn $1,700 per year on a $25,000 investment, as the stock currently yields 6.8%. But over time, those payments will likely continue to rise in value. Enbridge has been boosting its dividend payments since 1995 by an average CAGR of 10%. If the company were simply to maintain that rate, then five years from now its quarterly payout would be CA$1.34 -- 60% higher than it is now. Under that scenario, the dividend income would increase to more than $2,700 and would represent close to 11% of your original investment.
Enbridge remains one of the safer oil and gas stocks to buy and hold. With plenty of stability and a top yield, it makes for a great investment to hold if you're looking for some strong recurring income.