Has inflation peaked or could it surge even higher? Are we in a recession or not? With so much uncertainty about the macroeconomic environment, it's understandable why investors might be reluctant to buy stocks -- even dividend stocks.
However, there are some alternatives that shouldn't cause any angst. Here are three dividend stocks to buy right now without any hesitation.
1. Brookfield Renewable
Brookfield Renewable (BEP -1.70%) (BEPC -1.51%) pays a dividend yield of over 3%. The distribution has increased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% since 2013. The company expects to keep growing its distribution by 5% to 9% annually over the long term.
That's without question an attractive dividend. However, the main reason to consider buying Brookfield Renewable is its exceptionally strong growth prospects.
Brookfield Renewable ranks as one of the leading global providers of renewable energy. It operates hydroelectric, wind, solar, and distributed generation facilities on four continents. The demand for renewable energy will almost certainly increase significantly in the coming years.
The Inflation Reduction Act should add yet another tailwind for Brookfield Renewable. CEO Connor Tesky said in the company's recent quarterly conference call that the bill "will without doubt be a net positive" to Brookfield Renewable's business. Even without this legislation, though, Brookfield Renewable should be poised to deliver impressive total returns going forward.
2. Easterly Government Properties
Easterly Government Properties (DEA 0.41%) offers an even higher dividend yield of 5.6%. As a real estate investment trust (REIT), the company must return at least 90% of its taxable income to shareholders via dividends.
How likely is it that Easterly will remain profitable? Very. The company specializes in leasing properties to mission-critical U.S. government agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Veterans Administration. Easterly often reminds investors that "100% of its annualized income is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government."
Rising interest rates caused some investors to be concerned about Easterly experiencing higher costs to fund expansion. However, this actually could work to Easterly's benefit by shaking out the competition. Chairman Darrel Crate noted in Easterly's latest conference call that the exit of some players and other developers potentially being overextended "will have a positive effect" on his company's ability to pick up attractive assets over the next couple of years.
Easterly's prospects appear to be very good over the longer term. There's a high barrier to entry to the government properties market. Uncle Sam has also ramped up leasing of office space instead of purchasing properties over the past few decades -- a trend that's likely to continue.
3. Medical Properties Trust
Medical Properties Trust (MPW 2.69%) (MPT) stands out as one of the best high-yield dividend stocks on the market. The healthcare REIT's dividend yield tops 7.1%. MPT has increased its dividend for 10 consecutive years.
The company currently owns 447 properties with around 46,000 licensed beds. While the majority of these properties are in the U.S., MPT also owns facilities in Australia, Columbia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Higher interest rates have weighed on MPT stock this year. However, the company has continued to add properties, acquiring three Spanish radiotherapy facilities as well as two healthcare facilities in Arizona and Florida during the second quarter of 2022.
MPT is also well protected against inflation thanks to its automatic rent escalators. CFO Steven Hamner stated in the company's Q2 call that it estimates cash rents will increase by around $57 million this year as a result of these inflation-based escalators.
The need for the kinds of hospitals and other healthcare facilities that MPT owns should increase over time, especially with aging populations. Although its share price could fluctuate somewhat, MPT should be a safe dividend stock to buy and hold over the long run.