Should You Buy the 3 Highest-Paying Dividend Stocks in the Dow Jones?

Dividend stocks are usually popular when investors are seeking safety, and this time is no different. Investors have fled from growth stocks in the current bear market, instead pursuing income from bonds and dividend stocks.

Should You Buy the 3 Highest-Paying Dividend Stocks in the Dow Jones?

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Should You Buy the 3 Highest-Paying Dividend Stocks in the Dow Jones?

Not only do dividend stocks reward investors simply for holding them, but they also tend to be recession-proof. Dividend payers often have a long history of rewarding investors even in economic downturns, and they’re usually profitable unlike a number of growth stocks these days.


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If you’re looking for blue-chip dividend stocks to buy, a great place to start is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Let’s take a look at the top-three payers on the Dow Jones to see if any are worth buying.

1. Verizon Communications

With a 7% dividend yield, Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) is tops on the Dow in paying dividends. 

However, a high dividend yield isn’t necessarily a sign of strength. Often, that can signify a business on the decline or one that’s struggling to grow. Yes, Verizon generates boatloads of profits as one of only three major telecoms in the U.S., but growth has been hard to come by of late.

Those challenges were on display in the company’s most recent earnings report as both revenue and profits declined, a reflection of the company’s struggles in a challenging economic environment. The telecom also lost 127,000 monthly paying net wireless phone customers, showing it’s losing market share to AT&T and T-Mobile.

Verizon’s guidance also wasn’t inspiring. The midpoint of its earnings per share forecast of $4.55-$4.85 represented an 11% decline from 2022.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that those challenges seem to be reflected in its valuation and dividend yield, but the company is still facing the decline of its legacy wireline business and will need to continue to spend on its 5G rollout.

The dividend yield may be appealing, but the stock looks like dead money for the foreseeable future given those headwinds.

2. 3M

3M (NYSE: MMM) isn’t an easy company to put in a box. It makes more than 60,000 products, ranging from healthcare products to industrial ones like adhesives and coatings to the N95 masks that became common during the pandemic. Plus, it’s well-known for office supplies like Scotch tape and Post-it notes.

Recently, that diversification has seemed like a risk because the company is facing multiple legal challenges. Last December, it said it would stop manufacturing PFAS, a group of toxic chemicals sometimes known as “forever chemicals,” in response to a number of lawsuits. PFAS manufacturing currently brings in $1.3 billion in annual revenue for 3M. 

The company is also being sued over faulty military earplugs, and it’s pledged $1 billion to shore up the subsidiary being cited in the lawsuit.

3M’s first-quarter earnings report also showed revenue and profits falling. The company is struggling with the macroeconomic climate, and its guidance calls for declines on both the top and bottom lines. In response to those challenges, the company is cutting 6,000 jobs, following an announcement in January that it would slash 2,500 roles. 

3M’s 5.7% dividend yield may look appealing to dividend investors, but the stock seems likely to face more volatility ahead given those lawsuits and the threat of a recession.

3. Walgreens Boots Alliance

Finally, Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA) rounds out the list with a dividend yield of 5.4%. Unlike its two peers above that compete in the industrial and telecom segments, the pharmacy business is generally considered recession-proof. However, Walgreens has faced another challenge.

The company is lapping a boom from COVID-19 demand as consumers visited its stores to get vaccines and tests, as well as stock up on medicine. In its most recent quarter, revenue rose 3.3% to $34.9 billion, but adjusted earnings per share tumbled 27% due primarily to lower demand for COVID vaccines and tests. Walgreens is more optimistic about the second half of the fiscal year, however, expecting to return to earnings growth in the latter half of the year.

The company has also increased its exposure to primary care after VillageMD, the clinic in which it has a majority stake, acquired Summit Health for $9 billion last year. The idea behind that move is to launch in-store clinics, which makes sense, but it will be expensive to get those set up. Walgreens reported an adjusted operating loss of $159 million from the healthcare segment in the second quarter.

If that strategy pays off, Walgreens’ stock could take off, but the shares are riskier than they might otherwise seem. The 5.4% yield isn’t a bad incentive to stick around to find out if the healthcare expansion succeeds.


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Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3M and Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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