Big technology names like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook get the most attention from investors, but older businesses that pay dividends can also be fantastic stocks over the long term. Patient investors can benefit from a rising share price and passive income when stocks can balance revenue growth with dividend payouts. Here are three stocks that fall into this category.
1. Powering the world's connections
Cisco Systems (CSCO 0.42%) (dividend yield: 2.6%) manufactures and sells hardware and software for networking and telecommunications. Its products help businesses communicate better, faster, and more securely, a huge need in an increasingly digital business environment. The continued advancement of wireless technology from 3G to 4G, and now 5G, creates a need for businesses to upgrade their in-house equipment and update products in the field, both of which will drive business for Cisco going forward.
Cisco did more than $49 billion in revenue in 2020 and is expected to grow by 1% this year before accelerating growth to almost 5% in 2022. While Cisco's revenue growth outlook is modest, it's very profitable, generating more than $14.6 billion in free cash flow in 2020.
Cisco paid out $6 billion worth of dividends in 2020, resulting in a dividend payout ratio of 41%. Its dividend can grow in the near term, thanks to its low payout ratio. At the same time, the adoption of 5G over the coming years could provide an opportunity for accelerated revenue growth.
2. The "tollbooth" of the financial world
Visa (V -1.04%) (dividend yield: 0.5%) is a payment-technology company. It operates a global network that connects merchants and banks, powering the 1,700 transactions a second processed on Visa-branded debit and credit cards. Visa and the other payment networks owned by Mastercard, Discover, and American Express act like tollbooths, collecting a small percentage of each transaction that goes across their networks.
According to WorldPay, the global use of cash has declined by 42% since 2019 and will be the least-used traditional payment method in four years. The pandemic has impacted Visa: Its 2020 revenue of $21.8 billion was down 5% from the prior year. However, these "big picture" trends of declining cash use shouldn't hold Visa down, and the company is expected to grow revenue by more than 8% in 2021 to $23.6 billion and more than 19% in 2022.
Visa produces a lot of free cash flow -- $9.7 billion in 2020, or 44% of its revenue. The company spent just 27% of its 2020 free cash flow on dividends, a payout ratio of 27%. With Visa's ability to convert a high percentage of its revenue into free cash flow and expectations of accelerated revenue growth, investors could see both the share price and dividends increase from here.
3. The dividends are bigger in Texas
Texas Instruments (TXN -0.01%) (dividend yield: 2.2%) is a company that designs, manufactures, and sells semiconductors to a variety of markets throughout the world. Semiconductors are the "building blocks" of electronics used to make virtually every single electronic device imaginable.
Industries have become increasingly digital over time, ranging from smartphones to automotive to industrial end markets, increasing the global demand for semiconductors over the years. Texas Instruments plays a key role in this industry, supplying approximately 80,000 products to more than 100,000 customers each year.
Texas Instruments did $14.4 billion in revenue in 2020, and $5.5 billion, or 38%, was free cash flow, suggesting a highly efficient business in terms of cash flow. The company returned $3.4 billion of its free cash flow to investors as dividends in 2020 -- a dividend payout ratio of 62%.
Texas Instruments is expected to grow 21% in 2021, increasing its revenue to $17.5 billion, which could dramatically increase the cash available to grow its dividend payout. With the tech industry facing a semiconductor shortage, the business could be booming for Texas Instruments moving forward.
Here's the bottom line
Investors can find great dividend stocks in the technology sector -- it's a matter of finding companies that can turn a high percentage of their revenue into free cash flow. Each of these three stocks has big-picture trends in its favor, and the continued revenue growth could mean big payouts for investors over the years.