Eleven dividend stocks to stabilize your portfolio

Dividend-paying stocks can be a great addition to your portfolio, especially if you're looking for extra income.

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP/File
A man looks at an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.

If you're an income investor looking to stabilize your portfolio, or just want a little extra cash, dividend-paying stocks are often a great thing to own. With interest rates still historically quite low, you can get yields that are more than three or even four times what a bank might pay.

But which dividend stocks are the best? There are many great options, but I like to look forcompanies with a solid track record of paying and even increasing dividends, along with some potential for share price growth.

Here are 11 dividend stocks that are worth a look right now.

1. Caterpillar

This is a very solid company that is trading near its 52-week low. But it hasn't backed off its quarterly dividend, paying out 77 cents per share. Buy now, and there's a good chance you'll see growth in both dividends and share value.

2. Mattel

With a current dividend yield of more than 6%, investors could do a lot worse than Mattel. Shares are down 25% over the last year, but have rebounded nicely in October, suggesting that buying now could offer a growth opportunity.

3. AT&T

Full disclosure: I own shares of AT&T stock, and it's a pretty boring stock when it comes to growth. But sometimes boring is good, especially when you can generate a 5.5% dividend yield like right now. The company recently completed its merger with DirecTV, which could give shares a bump.

4. Merck

Shares of this big pharmaceutical company have risen about 6% over the last month, suggesting that they'll end a tough year on a high note. Merck is a consistent payer of its dividends, currently dishing out a solid 45 cents per share each quarter, for a yield of nearly 3.5%.

5. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers

People will be looking for bargains during the holidays, so don't be surprised if this retail REIT has a good November and December. While shares dipped to a 52-week low in August, they've rebounded since and are in positive territory for 2015. Tanger, which operates 43 outlet malls in 23 states, pays out 29 cents per share quarterly, or a yield of about 3%.

6. ExxonMobil

Oil stocks have been hammered in 2015, but this is still a large and healthy company, with shares that can be had for relatively cheap. Exxon always pays a dividend and always increases it each year. A payout of nearly $3 per share annually means a yield of 3.5% right now, and there's the potential for an increase in share value.

7. Johnson & Johnson

After dipping to a 52-week low in August, shares of JNJ have regained almost all their value. And that's good, because this has been one of the most solid dividend producers for decades. Investors can enjoy a solid 75 cents per share each quarter, for a yield of about 3% annually, from this big health care company.

8. Ford

People are back to buying cars, and Ford is expected to have a great 2016, with earnings expected to rise about 14% next year. You can bet that the company will maintain or even increase its current dividend of 15 cents per share. Right now, investors can grab a dividend yield of 3.8% from Ford shares.

9. Procter and Gamble

As a seller of consumer products that people around the world use every day, P&G is one of those companies that you assume will be around forever. It's a stable bet and has a nice quarterly dividend of 66 cents per share, for an annual yield of 3.44%. Buy shares, hold them for decades, and be happy.

10. Yum! Brands

The operator of KFC and Taco Bell restaurants recently upped its quarterly dividend to 46 cents per share, representing a yield of about 2.5%. The company is expected to see big growth overseas, especially in China, and analysts expect earnings to jump by about 13% in 2016.

11. HSBC

This large bank has a dividend yield of 6.26%, one of the highest in its industry. Normally, yields of that size are a red flag that a cut is due, but that may not necessarily be true for HSBC, which is still on track to generate enough surplus capital to meet its obligations to shareholders. Shares hit a 52-week low at the end of September, but have rebounded since.

This article first appeared at Wise Bread. 

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