Dividend Aristocrats are stocks that have been raising their dividend payments for at least 25 years in a row. They're among the safest income stocks you can own. But they don't always pay good yields.
Three stocks that are exceptions to that are Medtronic (MDT -0.37%), Chevron (CVX 1.46%), and Target (TGT -0.30%). They all yield more than the S&P 500 average of 1.7%. And collectively, these stocks can help diversify your portfolio.
Medtronic is a medical-device company that sells its products all over the world. Its products help patients with more than 70 health conditions. Its versatility and diversification make Medtronic a key player in the healthcare industry, and a safe stock for investors to own.
However, investors should be careful not to expect too much growth; Medtronic's sales for the year ended April 30 totaled $31.7 billion, up a modest 5% over the prior year. It's not huge revenue growth, but the business is stable. The company has reported a profit of at least $3 billion in each of its past four fiscal years.
One thing investors have also come to count on from the stock is dividend growth. Earlier this year, the company announced an 8% increase to its dividend payments. Medtronic has now been increasing its dividend for 45 straight years, making it one of the top Dividend Aristocrats within the healthcare industry. At just over 3%, it's also a relatively high-paying stock.
Medtronic's shares are trading near their 52-week lows, and now could be an excellent time to load up on this boring-but-safe dividend stock.
Chevron has been a hot stock to own as oil prices have recently hit highs they haven't been at in years. That puts companies like Chevron -- which is in the business of selling refined gas and diesel, among other products -- in an excellent position to profit.
As is always the case with oil and gas stocks, the risk is in the volatility of commodity prices. For example, if the war in Ukraine were to end tomorrow, that could instantly send the price of oil plummeting as optimism would rise that more supply of oil would soon be available on the markets. But those types of geopolitical issues are next to impossible to predict. Chevron's CEO Michael Wirth remains optimistic that oil prices could continue to rise given the lack of supply in the markets.
Although Chevron's stock could be vulnerable if there's a dip in oil prices, holding the stock in your portfolio could still serve as a valuable hedge and a way to diversify. There's no certainty as to which direction oil prices will go, and owning a top dividend stock like Chevron, which has increased its payouts for 35 straight years, may be a smart move. And at 4.1%, it's the highest-yielding stock on this list.
Shares of Target have been tanking this year as the retailer has been trying to shed excess inventory. The retail giant, along with others in the industry, has gone from having too little inventory on hand to now having too much. The supply chain roller coaster has sent the stock to a fresh 52-week low. And although it's bounced off from the lows of $137.16 that it hit on June 30, the stock is still down more than 40% from its high.
The inventory problem should be a temporary one, though. It could mean a couple of bad quarters for Target as the issue gets sorted out and management fine tunes operations. However, for long-term investors, this remains a quality dividend stock to own.
Target is the only stock on this list that, in addition to being a Dividend Aristocrat, is also a Dividend King, having raised its payouts for at least 50 years in a row. And Target's 35% slide in price this year has pushed its dividend yield up to around 3% per year.
At just 12 times its trailing earnings, Target may be a good, cheap, contrarian stock to add to your portfolio right now. It may not be a soft ride in the short term, but it could lead to some strong profits over the long haul.