The landscape is changing for dividend stocks. With interest rates rising rapidly, Treasury bonds are now paying investors a meaningful amount of money for the first time in years. With 10-year Treasury notes yielding about 4%, income investors -- who had few places aside from dividend stocks to turn for yield -- could buy these bonds for a "risk-free" 4% return on investment.

This can reduce the appeal of stocks yielding 3% to 4%, a level that was viewed as an ample dividend yield over the past decade. However, stocks yielding higher amounts continue to look appealing to dividend investors.

High yields can often result from a stock price falling rapidly and signal that the company may be unable to pay its dividend going forward. However, there are no falling knives on this list: All three stocks yield 7% or more, have been increasing their dividend payouts, and have payouts that look safe from a dividend payout ratio perspective.

The dividend payout ratio can tell investors how safe a company's dividend payout is based on its annual dividend versus its earnings per share. Read on and add some serious passive income to your portfolio.

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1. Altria 

When looking for dividend stocks that can work in this environment, look no further than Dividend King Altria (MO 0.22%). The tobacco giant has been around for 200 years and increased its payout for 52 straight years and counting. This streak signifies Altria's decades-long commitment to shareholder returns and highlights the business's stability and predictability. People buy Altria's products (like Marlboro cigarettes) frequently and habitually, a desirable trait in any market environment.

Shares of Altria are yielding more than 8%, which is more than double what investors can get from a Treasury note. Altria's dividend payout ratio of 77% is a bit high. However, this is a mature business that does not need a lot of cash to fund new growth initiatives, making a payout ratio at this level manageable for a company like Altria.

Altria historically aims for a payout ratio of 80%, so the current dividend is in line with that target. It may not be the most exciting stock out there, but there's nothing boring about getting paid 8% a year to hold on to a steady and reliable global consumer giant.

2. Alico

Moving on to a different type of grower, Alico (ALCO -0.80%) is a Florida-based citrus producer that owns 74,000 acres of land in the Sunshine State. While the company is not a Dividend King like Altria, it has a pretty impressive track record. Alico has paid out a dividend every year since 1974, with the exception of one year.

More recently, Alico has really started to shine as a dividend stock with a series of significant payout increases. In 2019, Altria was paying out just $0.24 a share. The company bumped that up to $0.36 a share in 2020 and doubled it to $0.72 on an annualized basis in early 2021, before increasing it even more to $2.00 on an annualized basis at the end of 2021.

That means Alico increased its dividend payout by more than 800% in just 3 years. With a $2.00 per share payout, Alico is now yielding a very attractive 7%. Alico's forward earnings of $6.75 per share means its dividend payout of $2.00 per share is easily covered by earnings, making this orange grower a safe, consistent dividend stock with a great yield.

3. Franchise Group 

Lastly, let's look at the highest-yielding stock on this list, at over 9%, Franchise Group (FRG). Franchise Group is an Ohio-based franchisor of a wide variety of brands, including The Vitamin Shoppe, Sylvan, Pet Supplies Plus, and a range of furniture companies.

As a franchisor, Franchise Group is a great dividend stock because it collects steady, predictable royalty fees from its franchisees. I also like that it operates in many different business segments, diversifying its income and giving the company some downside protection in case one business or industry struggles.

While Franchise Group doesn't have as long a track record as Altria or Alico, it really ramped up its dividend over the last few years, paying out $1.00 per share in 2020 and increasing the payout to $1.50 in 2021 and $2.50 in 2022. While the high yield of 9% might raise some eyebrows, the dividend looks safe with a payout ratio of 62%.

The triple crown of dividend income

I view a high yield, an increasing dividend payout, and a safe dividend payout ratio as the triple crown of a great dividend stock. Investing in dividend stocks that meet all three criteria is a good way to build up your passive income. In a market environment where dividend stocks with yields of 3% to 4% are now in competition with Treasury bonds, these three stocks with yields far above that range look compelling.