With interest rates at historically low levels in most developed economies, the hunt for yield can be a challenging endeavor for investors. Fortunately, there are some quality businesses that currently offer dividend yields of more than 5% -- a sizable bounty in a world where interest rates paid by bank deposit accounts and short-term government bonds are often measured in basis points. In that regard, here are five high-yield stocks worthy of your consideration.
Cedar Fair (FUN 0.80%) is a familiar name to roller coaster fans. The company's 14 parks serve up stomach-dropping fun to more than 24 million annual guests. And now, Cedar Fair's investors may soon enjoy the most thrills of all.
The master limited partnership currently yields more than 6% after recently boosting its quarterly cash distribution by 10% on the back of record third quarter results. Steady increases in attendance and guest spending are driving revenue and profits higher. Best of all, Cedar Fair's operations generate strong and stable cash flow that allows the company to return cash to its unit holders even as it invests heavily in new rides and attractions. And with a promising slate of exciting guest experiences set to come online in 2016 -- and management reaffirming their earnings growth targets through 2018 -- investors can expect Cedar Fair's payout to continue to climb higher in the years ahead.
AT&T's (T 0.56%) offers investors a steady, low-risk way to earn a 5.4% dividend yield. The telecom titan's subscription-based revenue streams and stable cash flows have made the company a dependable source of income for many dividend investors. In fact, AT&T's recent 2.1% increase in December marked the company's 32nd consecutive year of rising dividend payouts -- a truly impressive feat.
And now, thanks in part to its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, that streak is likely to continue for many years to come. The deal is a game changer that will allow the combined company to offer attractive bundles of wireless phone, TV, and broadband Internet services. In addition, AT&T is acquiring DirecTV's fast-growing TV business in Latin America, which should add another element of growth to the telecom giant. These new revenue streams should help to boost AT&T's cash flow, and, by extension, allow it to reward its shareholders with steadily increasing dividends.
Investors willing to take on more risk for the potential for more reward may wish to consider Chevron (CVX 1.30%), which currently offers a 5.1% dividend yield.The major integrated energy company is highly exposed to energy prices due to its massive exploration and production operations. And as crude oil prices have plummeted more than 70% over the last two years, Chevron has lost nearly a third of its value.
With oil prices at such low levels, investors have begun to question whether Chevron's 28-year streak of consecutive dividend increases may soon come to an end. Those fears are not unfounded; Chevron's once gushing cash flows currently do not cover its dividend payments. Yet management is adamant that it will not cut the dividend, and has instead chosen to focus on cost cutting initiatives and asset sales to preserve cash.
In addition, several major growth projects are scheduled to come online in the coming years -- such as Chevron's $54 billion Australian Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in 2016 -- which should improve the company's cash flow by boosting production while also lessening the need for start-up-related capital expenditures. CEO John Watson believes these factors will allow Chevron's free cash flow to more than cover its dividend by 2017. And if oil prices rebound during that time, Chevron's stock price would probably follow suit.