Dividend stocks continue to be highly sought after, especially among investors who seek to generate income. Retirees appreciate the regular payments provided by stocks that offer dividends to their shareholders. That said, not all stocks pay dividends, and not all dividend payments are equal. Some dividends are more generous than others, and investors seeking to maximize their income need to pay attention to the yield offered on the dividend stocks to buy this July.
Keep in mind that the average dividend yield among stocks listed in the benchmark Standards and Practices 500 index is currently 1.56%. Anything above that figure can be considered good, though some dividend stocks pay double, even triple, the average yield. In a perfect world, investors will ferret out stocks of reliable blue-chip companies that pay above average dividends on a quarterly basis. Here are the three best dividend stocks to buy in July.
Ford Motor Co. (F)
Detroit automaker Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) is seeing its stock gain momentum. Since mid-May, F stock has risen 36%. The upswing comes as the company demonstrates that its transition to electric vehicles is gaining traction, and after it struck a deal with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to use its fast-charging stations across North America. In addition to the share price appreciation, shareholders of Ford also benefit from a quarterly dividend payment of 15 cents a share, which represents a yield of nearly 4%.
Earlier this year, Ford paid shareholders a special one-time dividend of 65 cents a share. The special dividend, which was paid on March 1, seemed to be Ford’s way of rewarding shareholders for their patience as the company shifts to battery-powered cars, trucks and SUVs. While the dividend payments are nice, Ford stock is also reasonably valued, trading at 21 times future earnings estimates. With the company’s $50 billion investment in electric vehicles starting to bear fruit, the sky appears to be the limit for this stock.
Wireless internet provider Verizon (NYSE:VZ) pays an incredibly strong dividend that currently yields 7% or 65 cents a share each quarter. The hefty dividend is, in part, to attract and retain shareholders who might otherwise steer clear of VZ stock due to its subpar performance across many years. So far this year, Verizon’s share price has declined 7%. Throughout the last five years, the stock is down nearly 30%. While disappointing, Verizon has prioritized its dividend, spending $2.75 billion quarterly on the payout, which is good for investors seeking income.
Trading at a forward earnings multiple of only seven, VZ stock also looks cheap, even undervalued, at current levels. Verizon has struggled with intense competition in the wireless internet space, a slumping customer base, and heavy spending to upgrade its network to the latest fifth generation (5G) wireless technology. On a positive note, Verizon is in the process of changing its senior management team and the transition to 5G internet has made substantial progress in recent quarters.
Among pharmaceutical stocks, AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) pays one of the best dividends around. The company behind blockbuster drug Humira currently pays a $1.48 per share dividend, which is good for a yield of 4.32%. Owing to Humira coming off patent and now being replicated by generic drugmakers, ABBV stock has been in a funk lately, declining 16% on the year. However, this presents a nice buy the dip opportunity for long-term investors who would appreciate the stock’s quarterly payment.
The share price decrease has also made ABBV stock more affordable, lowering its price-earnings ratio to a more manageable 32. The stock is also near its 52-week low, setting up a nice entry point for investors to take a position. While the loss of exclusivity with Humira is a concern, AbbVie has other medications that continue to sell well for it, including rheumatoid arthritis medication RINVOQ and Lexapro to treat anxiety and depression. The company also has a robust pipeline of potentially new medications that are at various stages of approval. Whether you choose one or all of these, you can’t go wrong with any of these dividend stocks to buy this July.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole 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.