Dividend stocks are always hot, but they're positively sizzling as investors look for safe ways to grow their money in a volatile investing climate. Even better, plummeting prices mean you can find great stocks on sale with high-yielding dividends. My top picks for May are Home Depot (HD 0.02%)Starbucks (SBUX 1.09%), and Kimberly-Clark (KMB -0.28%).

Never-ending home improvement

Home Depot is the largest home-improvement chain in the world with 2,300 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It's had its share of challenges throughout its long history, but they've been fleeting -- as they should be for a healthy, well-run company -- and they seem to have all but disappeared over the past few years. Just when the company finally anticipated slowing growth, sales crushed estimates in the 2022 first quarter, increasing 4% year over year to $1.4 billion, and earnings per share (EPS) increased from $3.86 to $4.09. Management raised its outlook to 3% growth year over year for 2022. 

Two people in a kitchen holding mugs.

Image source: Getty Images.

This is distinctly impressive because the company faced tough comps from last year -- a 33% year-over-year sales increase in the 2021 first quarter -- as well as continued supply-chain problems and rising costs. 

Home Depot is a solid stock that's still managing to grow and become more efficient. It revamped its digital program prior to the pandemic and was well-positioned to benefit as shopping went digital -- and it's poised to enjoy continued growth through its robust omnichannel strategy. It also has tailwinds in a housing market that's still strong as well as employees shifting to remote work options.

However, the stock is down nearly 30% this year and trade at only 19 times trailing 12-month earnings. At this price, its dividend yields 2.3%.

More coffee, please

Another top dividend stock that's been beaten down this month is coffee giant Starbucks, which is down 38% in 2022.

Starbucks is dealing with all sorts of issues, from employee unionization to closed stores in China and rising costs. Former CEO Kevin Johnson recently left the top spot, and founder and former CEO Howard Schultz stepped back into the driver's seat to lead while looking for a permanent replacement.

However, the business is right on track, posting solid growth and profitability despite its problems. In the 2022 second fiscal quarter (ended April 3), sales increased 15% year over year to $7.6 billion, including 12% comparable-store sales growth in the U.S. EPS increased 4% over last year to $0.58.

The coffee titan operates more than 34,000 stores worldwide and is still expanding at a rapid pace, including 313 net new stores in the second quarter. Schultz sees that consumer habits have changed in the wake of the pandemic, and the company needs to evolve with those new customer preferences. That means even more of a focus on digital, more store renovations, and shifting resources to develop more drive-thrus. He said that there's "record demand," which is kind of mind-boggling, and it means the Starbucks growth story is far from over.

At the current price, Starbucks shares also trade at a cheap valuation of 19 times trailing 12-month earnings, and its dividend yield is 2.65%.

Keeping your home running smoothly

Kimberly-Clark makes many of the products you can't live without -- the  essentials that shoppers hoarded at the beginning of the pandemic. Brands such as Cottonelle, Kleenex, and Huggies are its revenue drivers, which is why this is about as stable a company as there is. It also means growth is typically slow but consistent. And these kinds of companies often focus on becoming more efficient and expanding margins.

Sales increased just 2% in 2021 after a higher-than-usual increase in 2020 due to pandemic stocking-up. Organic sales, which are sales from existing brands, decreased 1%. EPS decreased as the company dealt with supply-chain backups and rising costs; it also initiated some price restructuring and general changes in its operations.

It's already producing results. Just weeks after providing its outlook for 3% to 4% organic sales growth, the company released first-quarter earnings, reporting a 10% increase in organic sales. CEO Mike Hsu said it was due to better-than-anticipated volume and strong execution of its restructuring plan. Management raised its full-year outlook to 4% to 6% organic sales growth.

The company also raised its dividend for the 50th straight year in 2022, acquiring exclusive Dividend King status. At the current price, shares trade at 27 times times trailing 12-month earnings, and its dividend yields 3.3% -- making it a super-reliable, solid dividend stock.