7 Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

Dividend Stocks

If you’re looking for dividend stocks to buy and hold forever, a good place to start is the S&P 500 dividend aristocrats. These are S&P 500 stocks increasing their dividends for 25 consecutive years.

The current S&P 500 dividend yield is 1.65%. As recently as the March 2020 correction, the yield was almost 2.4%. At the market bottom of early 2009, it got to 4%. Of course, we know in hindsight that it didn’t last, sinking as low as 1.30% in October 2021. 

Of the 66 dividend aristocrats that exist today, approximately two-thirds of them yield more than 1.65%. With that in mind, I’ll select my seven dividend stocks to buy and hold forever from the list of 44 top-yielding dividend aristocrats.

To make things even more interesting, I’ll ensure that the seven businesses operate in different sectors with reasonable projected growth (10% or more annual annualized earnings per share over the next five years). 

I’m confident you’ll be able to take my seven dividend stocks, shove them in a drawer, and count your profits in five years. 

Ticker Company Current Price
TROW T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. $120.63
VFC V.F. Corporation $47.38
SYY Sysco Corporation $86.29
PPG PPG Industries, Inc. $121.15
MDT Medtronic plc $90.70
APD Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. $247.40
IBM International Business Machines Corporation $143.35

Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold: T. Rowe Price (TROW)

T row price (TROW) logo magnified through a lens while displayed on a web browser

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Asset managers like T. Rowe Price Group (NASDAQ:TROW)  have seen their assets under management (AUM) drop considerably in 2022. At the end of 2021, TROW had an AUM of $1.69 trillion. At the end of May, it had dropped to $1.4 trillion, almost all of it from the current bear market. But if you’re a dividend investor, that shouldn’t scare you away from the Baltimore-based company.

T. Rowe Price has increased its dividend for 35 consecutive years. Over the past decade, its average yearly dividend increase has been a more than respectable 13%. In July 2021, it even paid a special dividend of $3 a share, paying out a total of $7.32 for the entire year. It raised its quarterly dividend in March by 12 cents to $1.20. The annualized payment of $4.80 yields a high 4.3%.

The best part about TROW stock is that it is an excellent dividend payer and delivers decent performance. Over the past five years, it has had an annualized total return of 12.45%, 201 basis points higher than the entire U.S. markets.

V.F. Corp. (VFC)

Image of a giant boot in the street surrounded by people.

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Over the past five years, an investment in V.F. Corp. (NYSE:VFC) has been nothing but dead money. Its shares are down 9% compared to a 55% gain for the S&P 500. 

How can an apparel conglomerate with such brands as Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Dickies, Supreme, and many others, do so poorly relative to the index? That’s the million-dollar question.

V.F. Corp. reported Q4 2022 results in early April. Sales grew by 12% over Q4 2021, excluding currency, to $2.8 billion, while its adjusted earnings per share jumped 67% to 45 cents a share. For all of 2022, sales grew 23%, excluding acquisitions, to $11.8 billion. On the bottom line, its adjusted EPS was $3.18, 143% higher than a year earlier.

Although its Dickies brand didn’t quite hit $1 billion in annual revenue in 2022 – its sales were $837.7 million, 19% higher than a year earlier – it should get there in 2023 or 2024 at the latest, making it V.F. Corp.’s fourth billion-dollar brand. 

VFC currently yields a healthy 4.4%.

Sysco (SYY)

Best Stocks for Students: Sysco (SYY)

Source: Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a dividend stock hanging in there in  2022, Sysco (NYSE:SYY) should be on your list. Its annualized total return year-to-date is 3%, about 20 percentage points better than the entire U.S. market. 

The food distributor is one of the world’s largest, serving over 650,000 customer locations worldwide from 343 distribution facilities. In fiscal 2021, it generated more than $51 billion in revenue. 

In its latest quarter ended April 2, Sysco’s sales grew 42.9% over Q3 2021 and 15.3% higher than Q3 2020. It continues to take market share in both the U.S. and internationally.  

When you invest in a business like Sysco, you have to have the mindset that a little from a lot adds up to substantial profits. Its operating margin through the first nine months of 2022 was 3.5%. 

Sysco’s shares currently yield 2.5%.

Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold: PPG Industries (PPG)

PPG Paints retail location. PPG stock

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) held its annual Investor Day in early June in Helsinki, Finland. A good portion of the day was spent talking about acquisitions

“Acquisitions are a key to PPG’s long-term growth strategy and continue to create value for the company. We are pleased with the integration pace of our five most recent acquisitions,” said Tim Knavish, PPG chief operating officer. “Since we completed the acquisitions, we have identified further opportunities to drive our total synergy target to $150 million – a 15% increase from the original goal,” he said, according to Yahoo Finance. 

In 2021, PPG made four acquisitions, the most significant purchase being Tikkurila Oyj for $1.7 billion. The company is based in Vantaa, Finland, hence the Investor Day location. 

Over the past 10 years, PPG has committed 37% of its cash to acquisitions. In total, it’s put 55% of its cash toward growing the business and the rest for share repurchases and dividends. 

PPG currently yields 2.1%.

Medtronic (MDT)

Medtronic (MDT) sign outside office building representing healthcare stocks

Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

If you don’t like investing in public companies that play fast and loose with taxes, you might not want to consider Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) for your dividend-paying portfolio. In 2015, it moved its headquarters from the U.S. to Ireland to save taxes after acquiring Covidien, its Irish competitor. 

Putting the tax dodge aside, Medtronic is an excellent medical device company. 

At the end of May, it reported its Q4 2022 results. On the top line, the company’s full-year revenue increased 5.5%, excluding currency, to $31.76 billion. On the bottom line, its net income was $5.04 billion, 39.6% higher than $3.61 billion a year earlier. 

Its free cash flow was almost $1 billion higher to $5.97 billion. That’s a free cash flow yield of 5%. I consider a stock with an FCF yield between 4% and 8% to be reasonably priced. 

At the same time, it released its earnings; it also announced a partnership with DaVita (NYSE:DVA) to launch an independent kidney care-focused medical device company to help improve the patient treatment experience. The two companies will own an equal stake in the business. Medtronic is contributing its Renal Care Solutions business to the new venture. 

It’s never dull at Medtronic. Its stock currently yields 3.1%. 

Air Products & Chemicals (APD)

Air Products truck on motorway. APD stock.

Source: Bjoern Wylezich / Shutterstock

Pacer Advisors grew its stake in Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) by 2.1% in Q1 2022. I mention this because Pacer is the investment advisor for Pacer ETFs. One of the ETF provider’s big themes is free cash flow. The fact it holds some of the industrial gas and chemical company’s shares suggests it approves of APD’s free cash flow generation.

The company’s goal is to be “the safest, most diverse, and most profitable industrial gas company in the world,” the company’s Q4 2021 earnings presentation stated.  

I especially like that last part. I also like that it believes the CEO’s most important job is capital allocation. I couldn’t agree more. Very few are good at capital allocation. 

Since 2014, it has grown its adjusted earnings per share by 11% compounded annually. In 2022, it expects to grow adjusted EPS by 13% to 15%, above its historical norm.

As for dividends, it’s increased for 40 straight years with a compound annual growth rate of 10%. It currently yields 2.7%.

Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold: International Business Machines (IBM)  

Photo of IBM (IBM) building as seen through the canopy of a tree. IBM logo is in large letters on side of building.

Source: shutterstock.com/LCV

In recent years, it hasn’t been easy for International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) to deliver a positive message to shareholders. Although IBM’s shares are holding their own in 2022 – up almost 5% over the past six months compared to a 20.4% decline for the S&P 500 – for the most part, it’s been a downward slide since hitting $200 in 2013. 

It got so bad that even Warren Buffett, arguably the world’s most patient investor, walked out on IBM in 2017. IBM’s current strategy is to be a leader in the hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence. 

In its Q1 2022 earnings, it reported healthy double-digit sales increases, including a 17% increase in hybrid cloud revenue. In the past 12 months, its hybrid cloud revenue was $20.8 billion, also 17% higher. 

In 2022, it expects a free cash flow of $10.25 billion at the midpoint of its guidance. Based on a market cap of $123.3 billion, it has a current FCF yield of 8.3%. I consider anything above 8% to be in value territory.

IBM currently yields 4.8%. If a tech renaissance story is waiting to be told, IBM must be at the top of the list. Its healthy dividend combined with cheap valuation makes IBM an interesting buy for the first time in a long time.  

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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