Some investors view companies that pay dividends as past their prime. Their idea is that any company that can't find a better way to use its cash than return it to shareholders must not have great growth prospects. I'm not one of those investors.
Granted, there are some dividend stocks that fit the stereotype mentioned above. On the other hand, there are also plenty that offer both solid dividends and strong growth opportunities. Here are three unstoppable dividend stocks to buy right now.
1. Brookfield Renewable
The number of countries committing to net-zero carbon emissions has multiplied sixfold since Jan. 2020. The number of companies with net-zero commitments has tripled during the period. There's no way for those goals to be achieved without a major increase in renewable energy.
That's music to the ears of Brookfield Renewable (BEP 0.94%) (BEPC 0.78%). It's without question one of the best renewable energy stocks to buy. Brookfield Renewable operates hydroelectric, wind, and solar facilities with a total current capacity of around 20 gigawatts. But the company is adding capacity rapidly.
Brookfield Renewable's development pipeline could boost its capacity to more than 51 gigawatts. The company's planned solar power development projects make up over half of its pipeline capacity.
In addition to great growth prospects over the next several decades, Brookfield Renewable also pays a dividend that currently yields close to 3%. The company has increased its distribution by a compound annual growth rate of 6% since 2010.
2. Home Depot
Home improvement became a sizzling-hot market last year, fueled by stay-at-home orders. Don't think that home improvement projects will evaporate as COVID-19 concerns diminish. The market should have sustained long-term growth.
There's one clear leader in home improvement -- Home Depot (HD 1.68%). Sure, Lowe's stands out as a formidable rival. However, Home Depot has a significant edge over its main competitor in attracting business from professional contractors.
Pros make up around 5% of Home Depot's customer base. But they generate 45% of total sales. The company continues to roll out additional services targeting pros, moves that should help keep Home Depot at the top of the home improvement industry.
Home Depot's dividend yield stands at nearly 2%. The company has increased its dividend payout by 139% over the last five years.
3. Innovative Industrial Properties
Medical marijuana used to be controversial. Today, though, 36 states have legalized medical cannabis. More are likely on the way.
Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR -0.70%) gives investors one of the best ways to profit from this trend. The company is the leading provider of real estate capital to U.S. medical cannabis operators.
IIP currently owns 75 properties in 19 states. All of these properties are leased out to cannabis operators, with a weighted-average remaining lease term of around 16.6 years. The company shouldn't have any trouble finding additional sale-leaseback opportunities with both existing and new tenants.
Because it's organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT), IIP must return at least 90% of its taxable income to shareholders as dividends. Its dividend yield stands at 2.5%. The company has increased its dividend by a whopping 900% over the last five years. However, its share price has skyrocketed even more, up close to 1,170% during the period.