Have you ever watched American Idol, The Voice, or even the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day in the company of others? If so, you know that opinions can vary as to which contestant is the best.
There can even be different views in selecting the best high-yield dividend stocks. It's not as simple as just identifying stocks with the highest yields. Other factors are also important, including the ability to continue funding dividends and growth prospects. And one person can give a greater weight to those individual factors than another person will.
With all of that in mind, here are my picks for the best high-yield dividend stocks on the market right now.
1. Devon Energy
Based on Devon Energy's (DVN -0.11%) first-quarter dividend, the oil and gas producer's annual yield is a little over 7%. However, by the end of this year, the dividend yield could be even higher. That's because Devon pays a fixed-plus-variable dividend. The variable portion is based on the company's excess free cash flow.
Devon expects that its actual dividend yield will be around 8% -- roughly six times greater than that of the S&P 500 and more than twice the energy sector average. Of course, the yield doesn't just depend on the company's dividend payout. Devon's stock performance matters as well -- a high stock price translates to a lower dividend yield. And its shares have soared so far this year.
In addition to its strong dividend, Devon is aggressively buying back up to 5% of its outstanding shares. Stock buybacks are sometimes called "invisible dividends" because of their benefits to investors.
Devon should continue to deliver strong financial results as long as oil and gas prices remain high. The stock perhaps won't be as attractive within the next three to five years as it is now. But it's currently one of the best high-yield dividend stocks around.
2. Enterprise Products Partners
Enterprise Products Partners (EPD -0.97%) offers a dividend yield of 6.8%. The midstream energy company also boasts an impressive track record of 23 consecutive years of distribution increases.
The stock has also been a winner for investors this year. Enterprise's shares are up well over 20%.
This performance lags well behind the stocks of oil and gas producers such as Devon. That's largely because Enterprise Products Partners' fortunes aren't tied as closely to commodity prices. Most of the company's revenue comes from fees charged for using its pipelines. However, this also arguably gives Enterprise one of the safest dividends in the energy sector.
Granted, Enterprise Products Partner's long-term growth prospects could suffer with a massive transition to renewable energy sources. But the International Energy Agency projects that the demand for oil and gas will continue to increase at least through 2040. Enterprise's high dividend yields shouldn't be threatened for a long time to come.
3. Medical Properties Trust
You don't have to look solely to energy stocks for high dividend yields. Medical Properties Trust's (MPW) dividend currently yields close to 6.2%. The real estate investment trust (REIT) has increased its dividend for 10 consecutive years.
Sure, Medical Properties Trust's stock is down in 2022 with the overall market in decline. But its total return including dividends has beaten the S&P 500 over the past five years and 10 years.
The company owns around 440 hospitals in 10 countries. Medical Properties Trust's tenant base has become more diversified in recent years, with 53 hospital operators now compared to only 30 in 2018. Its largest property accounts for less than 3% of the company's total portfolio.
Inflation shouldn't present a big problem for the REIT since nearly all of its leases have annual rent increases built in. Higher interest rates aren't slowing Medical Properties Trust down, either. The company expects to invest between $1 billion and $3 billion on acquisitions this year.