Remember the Energizer Bunny? The battery-operated pink mechanical bunny became a popular mascot for Energizer batteries on TV commercials where it continued to beat its drum. The tag line for the ads was always the same: "Still going."
Some people like to trade in and out of stocks frequently. If you're an income-oriented investor, though, you would much rather find stocks that are like the Energizer Bunny. These stocks keep paying dividends quarter after quarter without fail. Here are three such dividend stocks that you can buy and hold forever.
The future of energy is in renewable sources, including wind, solar, and hydro. The shift to renewable energy continues to gain momentum thanks to carbon reduction programs established by large countries and major corporations.
Brookfield Renewable (BEP -1.70%) (BEPC -1.51%) stands out as one of the top companies poised to profit from this trend. The company operates one of the biggest renewable energy platforms in the world with a capacity of around 21,000 megawatts.
That capacity will almost certainly increase significantly over the next few years. Brookfield Renewable's development pipeline could add another 27,000 megawatts to the total. With this potential, it's not surprising in the least that the company expects to deliver annual growth of close to 15% over the long term.
Brookfield Renewable's dividend currently yields around 3%. The company's goal is to increase its distribution by 5% to 9% each year. Since 2000, the renewable energy leader's distribution has increased by a 6% compound annual growth rate.
Johnson & Johnson
If you're looking for a textbook example of a dividend stock to buy and hold forever, check out Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 0.32%). The company was founded way back in 1886. Today, J&J ranks as the biggest healthcare company in the world.
It's also one of the top dividend stocks on the market. Johnson & Johnson is a Dividend King -- the highest echelon of dividend royalty -- with 59 consecutive years of dividend increases. The healthcare giant's dividend yield now tops 2.5%.
One key factor behind J&J's staying power is its diversification across the healthcare sector. The company is a leader in consumer health, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. It claims 28 platforms or products that each generate over $1 billion in sales each year. Roughly 70% of total sales come from products that rank either No. 1 or No. 2 in their respective markets.
Johnson & Johnson has delivered both solid growth and great dividends to investors for years. That trend is likely to continue going forward, especially with the company's focus on research and development.
You might not think of Microsoft (MSFT -1.43%) as a dividend stock. However, the technology company initiated a dividend program in 2004.
Sure, no one is likely to buy Microsoft mainly for its dividend. After all, the company's dividend yield currently stands at only 0.8%. That low yield isn't because the dividend hasn't grown, though. Over the last decade, Microsoft has increased its dividend by a whopping 250%.
During that same time period, however, the tech stock has soared nearly tenfold. Microsoft's market cap now tops $2 trillion. I think it could realistically hit $3 trillion over the next few years. Microsoft is a leader in many of the most important growth areas in technology -- artificial intelligence, augmented reality, cloud hosting, gaming, and more.
My prediction is that the company will generate strong earnings growth over the long run that pushes its share price and dividend much higher. Like the Energizer Bunny, Microsoft is a dividend stock that's still going strong and will likely retain its momentum for a long time to come.