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The 25 Highest-Yielding Dividend Champions

By Jim Royal - Updated Nov 7, 2016 at 10:18PM

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Here's another place to get your dividend on.

Yes, dividend investing is popular. Congress has extended legislation that maintains the low tax rate on corporate payouts through 2012. A great place to look for dividend stalwarts is among those companies that have successfully paid out cash for decades.

The authoritative list of Dividend Champions is compiled by the DRiP Investing Resource Center annually and features those companies that have increased dividends for more than 25 years straight. The latest list details about 100 companies that have met the center's criteria, and these companies need not be part of the S&P 500 in order to qualify, unlike the Dividend Aristocrats index.

Below I highlight the 25 highest-yielding Dividend Champions in rank order by yield. I've also included the number of years that they've paid out a dividend:

Company

Dividend Yield

Number of Years

Investors Real Estate Trust (Nasdaq: IRET)

7.4%

39

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL)

7.2%

37

AT&T (NYSE: T)

6.2%

27

Altria (NYSE: MO)

6%

42

Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI)

6%

28

Washington REIT (NYSE: WRE)

5.8%

39

Old Republic Int'l (NYSE: ORI)

5.8%

29

Vectren (NYSE: VVC)

5.2%

51

HCP (NYSE: HCP)

5.2%

26

Bowl America Class A (NYSE: BWL-A)

5%

39

Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED)

4.8%

37

Cincinnati Financial (Nasdaq: CINF)

4.8%

50

Black Hills (NYSE: BKH)

4.7%

41

Universal Corp. (NYSE: UVV)

4.6%

40

Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG)

4.6%

39

Kimberly Clark (NYSE: KMB)

4.3%

39

United Bankshares (Nasdaq: UBSI)

4.3%

37

Community Trust Bancorp (Nasdaq: CTBI)

4.2%

30

Middlesex Water (Nasdaq: MSEX)

4%

38

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT)

3.9%

38

WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL)

3.9%

34

Connecticut Water Service (Nasdaq: CTWS)

3.8%

41

Sysco (NYSE: SYY)

3.8%

41

Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY)

3.7%

32

MGE Energy (Nasdaq: MGEE)

3.7%

34

Source: Dripinvesting.org. Based on March 4 stock price.

Given their strong track records, these stocks are a great place to begin your research, but they're not formal recommendations. High yields could be time bombs, and that really attractive high yield could suddenly die. So investigate such companies thoroughly and diversify across sectors, no matter how delicious that dividend looks.

For a basket of some high-yield some dividend opportunities, click here to get The Motley Fool's five-page free report: 13 High-Yielding Stocks to Buy Today.

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Stocks Mentioned

AT&T Inc. Stock Quote
AT&T Inc.
T
$20.40 (0.94%) $0.19
Altria Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Altria Group, Inc.
MO
$51.09 (0.00%) $0.00
Pitney Bowes Inc. Stock Quote
Pitney Bowes Inc.
PBI
$4.53 (-1.09%) $0.05
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust Stock Quote
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust
WRE
$23.18 (0.22%) $0.05
Old Republic International Corporation Stock Quote
Old Republic International Corporation
ORI
$22.53 (-0.57%) $0.13
Lumen Technologies Stock Quote
Lumen Technologies
LUMN
$11.06 (-2.64%) $0.30
Investors Real Estate Trust Stock Quote
Investors Real Estate Trust
IRET
$83.33 (0.33%) $0.27
Kimberly-Clark Corporation Stock Quote
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
KMB
$128.34 (-0.55%) $0.71
Consolidated Edison, Inc. Stock Quote
Consolidated Edison, Inc.
ED
$95.81 (1.04%) $0.99
Abbott Laboratories Stock Quote
Abbott Laboratories
ABT
$113.24 (0.71%) $0.80
Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. Stock Quote
Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc.
PNY
HCP, Inc. Stock Quote
HCP, Inc.
PEAK
$29.42 (0.48%) $0.14
Sysco Corporation Stock Quote
Sysco Corporation
SYY
$76.98 (-2.66%) $-2.10
Middlesex Water Company Stock Quote
Middlesex Water Company
MSEX
$89.29 (0.27%) $0.24
Connecticut Water Service, Inc. Stock Quote
Connecticut Water Service, Inc.
CTWS
United Bankshares, Inc. Stock Quote
United Bankshares, Inc.
UBSI
$35.36 (1.17%) $0.41
Cincinnati Financial Corporation Stock Quote
Cincinnati Financial Corporation
CINF
$121.98 (-0.56%) $0.69
Universal Corporation Stock Quote
Universal Corporation
UVV
$59.59 (-0.78%) $0.47
Vectren Corporation Stock Quote
Vectren Corporation
VVC
Black Hills Corporation Stock Quote
Black Hills Corporation
BKH
$73.19 (-0.60%) $0.44
Leggett & Platt, Incorporated Stock Quote
Leggett & Platt, Incorporated
LEG
$37.01 (0.24%) $0.09
MGE Energy, Inc. Stock Quote
MGE Energy, Inc.
MGEE
$80.97 (-0.06%) $0.05
Community Trust Bancorp, Inc. Stock Quote
Community Trust Bancorp, Inc.
CTBI
$40.42 (1.20%) $0.48
WGL Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
WGL Holdings, Inc.
WGL

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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