10 Rock-Solid Dividend Paying Stocks to Own in 2018 in 2018

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Historically low interest rates have made it difficult over the last decade for income-oriented investors that want to generate safe cash flow for their retirements.

Dividend-paying stocks have become more appealing to income investors because of their competitive yields, the favorite tax treatment that dividends receive and their ability to grow their payouts over time. While fixed interest rates from bond investments will lose purchasing power to inflation over time, the purchasing power of income from dividend growth stocks is more protected because companies tend raise their dividend payments every year.

In this slideshow, we look at ten of the best high-dividend stocks that offer strong yields (above 3.5%), have consistent cashflow and a strong track record of dividend growth. The companies in this slideshow have all raised their dividend every year for the last ten years.

These companies also have low payout ratios (below 75%), meaning that they will have the ability to continue to pay their dividend if their earnings have a temporary dip.

Stock prices will always fluctuate, but the dividends paid by these rock-solid dividend payers should remain secure with moderate earnings growth.

#1 - Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Dividend Yield: 4.71%
Track Record: 11 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 62.6%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $53.28 (6.2% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications logoVerizon Communications Inc. is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its segments include Wireless and Wireline. The Wireless segment offers communications products and services, including wireless voice and data services and equipment sales, to consumer, business and government customers across the United States. The Wireline segment offers voice, data and video communications products and services, such as broadband video, data center and cloud services, security and managed network services, and local and long distance voice services. The Company has combined Yahoo! Inc.’s operating assets with its existing AOL Inc. business to create a new subsidiary, Oath Inc., owns a diverse house of more than 50 media and technology brands. The Oath portfolio includes HuffPost, Yahoo Sports, AOL.com, MAKERS, Tumblr, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Mail.

#2 - Edison International (NYSE:EIX)

Dividend Yield: 4.03%
Track Record: 13 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 55.9%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $77.33 (26.7% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Edison International (NYSE:EIX)

Edison International logoEdison International is the holding company of Southern California Edison Company (SCE). As of December 31, 2016, SCE, a public utility, was primarily engaged in the business of supplying and delivering electricity to an approximately 50,000 square mile area of southern California. The Company is also the parent company of Edison Energy Group, Inc. (Edison Energy Group), a holding company for subsidiaries engaged in pursuing competitive business opportunities across energy services and distributed solar to commercial and industrial customers. SCE's projects include West of Devers, Mesa Substation, Alberhill System, Riverside Transmission Reliability, Eldorado-Lugo-Mohave Upgrade, Tehachapi and Coolwater-Lugo. As of December 31, 2016, the West of Devers Project consisted of upgrading and reconfiguring approximately 48 miles of existing 220 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines between the Devers, El Casco, Vista and San Bernardino substations.

#3 - Black Hills (NYSE:BKH)

Dividend Yield: 3.64%
Track Record: 48 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 56.9%
Consensus Rating: Buy
Consensus Price Target: $64.50 (23.1% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Black Hills (NYSE:BKH)

Black Hills logoBlack Hills Corporation is a holding company. The Company is an integrated energy company, which is focused primarily on regulated utilities. The Company operates through segments, including Electric Utilities, Gas Utilities, Power Generation, Mining, Oil and Gas, and Corporate. As of December 31, 2016, the Electric Utilities segment generated, transmitted and distributed electricity to approximately 208,500 customers in South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana. The Gas Utilities Segment includes the natural gas operations of Cheyenne Light. The Power Generation segment produces electric power from its generating plants and sells the electric capacity and energy principally to its utilities under long-term contracts. The Mining segment operates through its Wyodak Resources Development Corp. (WRDC) subsidiary. The Company's Oil and Gas segment acquires, explores for, develops and produces natural gas and crude oil in the United States primarily in the Rocky Mountain region.

#4 - Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR)

Dividend Yield: 3.64%
Track Record: 13 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 61.0%
Consensus Rating: Buy
Consensus Price Target: $122.36 (19.7% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR)

Digital Realty Trust logoDigital Realty Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is engaged in the business of owning, acquiring, developing and operating data centers. The Company is focused on providing data center and colocation solutions for domestic and international tenants across a range of industry verticals ranging from financial services, cloud and information technology services, to manufacturing, energy, healthcare and consumer products. As of December 31, 2016, its portfolio consisted of 145 operating properties, including 14 properties held as investments in unconsolidated joint ventures, of which 104 are located throughout the United States, 32 are located in Europe, four are located in Asia, three are located in Australia and two are located in Canada. It is a general partner of Digital Realty Trust, L.P. As of December 31, 2016, it owned an approximate 98.5% common general partnership interest in Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

#5 - Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)

Dividend Yield: 3.71%
Track Record: 43 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 67.3%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $80.61 (3.7% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)

Consolidated Edison logoConsolidated Edison, Inc. (Con Edison) is a holding company. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, which include Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (CECONY), Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc. (the Clean Energy Businesses) and Con Edison Transmission, Inc. (Con Edison Transmission). CECONY's principal business operations are its regulated electric, gas and steam delivery businesses. CECONY provides electricity, natural gas and steam to customers in New York City and Westchester County. O&R's principal business operations are its regulated electric and gas delivery businesses. The Clean Energy Businesses develop, own and operate renewable and energy infrastructure projects and provide energy-related products and services to wholesale and retail customers. Con Edison Transmission, through its subsidiaries, invests in electric transmission facilities and gas pipeline and storage facilities.

#6 - Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP)

Dividend Yield: 4.28%
Track Record: 45 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: -666.7%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $56.14 (-14.2% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP)

Helmerich & Payne logoHelmerich & Payne, Inc. is engaged in contract drilling of oil and gas wells for others. The Company operates in the contract drilling industry. The Company's contract drilling business consists of three segments: U.S. Land, Offshore and International Land. The Company is also engaged in the ownership, development and operation of commercial real estate and the research and development of rotary steerable technology. Its real estate investments are located within Tulsa, Oklahoma, and include a shopping center containing approximately 441,000 leasable square feet, multi-tenant industrial warehouse properties containing approximately one million leasable square feet and approximately 210 acres of undeveloped real estate. The Company provides drilling rigs, equipment, personnel and camps on a contract basis. The Company's subsidiaries include Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co. and Helmerich & Payne de Venezuela, C.A.

#7 - International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)

Dividend Yield: 3.84%
Track Record: 18 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 43.5%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $164.17 (5.1% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)

International Business Machines logoInternational Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is a technology company. The Company operates through five segments: Cognitive Solutions, Global Business Services (GBS), Technology Services & Cloud Platforms, Systems and Global Financing. The Cognitive Solutions segment delivers a spectrum of capabilities, from descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics to cognitive systems. Cognitive Solutions includes Watson, a cognitive computing platform that has the ability to interact in natural language, process big data, and learn from interactions with people and computers. The GBS segment provides clients with consulting, application management services and global process services. The Technology Services & Cloud Platforms segment provides information technology infrastructure services. The Systems segment provides clients with infrastructure technologies. The Global Financing segment includes client financing, commercial financing, and remanufacturing and remarketing.

#8 - OGE Energy (NYSE:OGE)

Dividend Yield: 4.21%
Track Record: 11 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 70.7%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $37.40 (18.5% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for OGE Energy (NYSE:OGE)

OGE Energy logoOGE Energy Corp. (OGE Energy) is an energy and energy services provider offering physical delivery and related services for both electricity and natural gas primarily in the south central United States. The Company operates through two segments: electric utility and natural gas midstream operations. The electric utility segment generates, transmits, distributes and sells electric energy in Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Its operations are conducted through Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (OG&E). OG&E is an electric utility in Oklahoma and its franchised service territory includes Fort Smith, Arkansas and the surrounding communities. The natural gas midstream operations segment represents the Company's investment in Enable Midstream Partners, LP (Enable) through subsidiaries, and ultimately OGE Enogex Holdings LLC (OGE Holdings). Enable's assets and operations are organized into two segments: gathering and processing, and transportation and storage.

#9 - Owens & Minor (NYSE:OMI)

Dividend Yield: 6.6%
Track Record: 19 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 58.2%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $24.00 (49.3% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Owens & Minor (NYSE:OMI)

Owens & Minor logoOwens & Minor, Inc. is a healthcare services company that connects the world of medical products to the point of care. The Company provides supply chain assistance to the providers of healthcare services and the manufacturers of healthcare products, supplies and devices. The Company's segments include Domestic, International and Clinical & Procedural Solutions (CPS). The Domestic Segment offers a portfolio of products and services to healthcare providers and manufacturers in the United States. The Company also offers additional services to healthcare providers, including supplier management, analytics, inventory management, outsourced resource management, clinical supply management and business process consulting. The International segment includes its European distribution and logistics business. The CPS segment provides product-related solutions, helping manufacturers and healthcare providers source, assemble and deliver procedure kits to the point-of-care.

#10 - Old Republic International (NYSE:ORI)

Dividend Yield: 3.62%
Track Record: 36 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 65.0%
Consensus Rating: Strong Buy
Consensus Price Target: $25.00 (19.2% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Old Republic International (NYSE:ORI)

Old Republic International logoOld Republic International Corporation is a holding company. The Company is engaged in business of insurance underwriting and related services. The Company conducts its operations through various regulated insurance company subsidiaries, which are organized into three segments: General Insurance Group, Title Insurance Group and the Republic Financial Indemnity Group (RFIG) Run-off Business. The Company's General Insurance segment consists of property and liability insurance, and offers coverages to businesses, government and other institutions. The Company's Title Insurance Group business consists of the issuance of policies to real estate purchasers and investors based upon searches of the public records, which contain information concerning interests in real property. The Company's RFIG run-off business consists of its mortgage guaranty and consumer credit indemnity (CCI) operations.

#11 - SCANA (NYSE:SCG)

Dividend Yield: 6.58%
Track Record: 18 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 58.6%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $54.07 (43.4% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for SCANA (NYSE:SCG)

SCANA logoSCANA Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity in South Carolina. The Company operates through segments, including Electric Operations, Gas Distribution, Gas Marketing and All Other. The Company is engaged in the purchase, transmission and sale of natural gas in North Carolina and South Carolina. The Electric Operations segment generates, transmits and distributes electricity. The Company's regulated businesses include subsidiaries, such as South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), South Carolina Fuel Company, Inc. (Fuel Company), South Carolina Generating Company, Inc. (GENCO) and Public Service Company of North Carolina, Incorporated (PSNC Energy). The Company's nonregulated businesses include subsidiaries, such as SCANA Energy Marketing, Inc. (SCANA Energy), ServiceCare, Inc., SCANA Services, Inc. and SCANA Corporate Security Services, Inc.

#12 - Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (NYSE:SKT)

Dividend Yield: 6.08%
Track Record: 25 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 56.4%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $24.88 (10.3% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (NYSE:SKT)

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers logoTanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. is an owner and operator of outlet centers in the United States and Canada. The Company is a fully-integrated, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT), which focuses on developing, acquiring, owning, operating and managing outlet shopping centers. As of December 31, 2016, its portfolio consisted of 36 outlet centers, with a total gross leasable area of approximately 12.7 million square feet, which were 98% occupied and contained over 2,600 stores representing approximately 400 store brands. Its outlet centers and other assets are held by, and all of its operations are conducted by, Tanger Properties Limited Partnership and subsidiaries (Operating Partnership). The Company owns the majority of the units of partnership interest issued by the Operating Partnership, through its subsidiaries, Tanger GP Trust and Tanger LP Trust. Tanger GP Trust controls the Operating Partnership as its sole general partner.

#13 - AT&T (NYSE:T)

Dividend Yield: 5.39%
Track Record: 33 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 68.5%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $41.96 (13.0% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for AT&T (NYSE:T)

AT&T logoAT&T Inc. is a holding company. The Company is a provider of communications and digital entertainment services in the United States and the world. The Company operates through four segments: Business Solutions, Entertainment Group, Consumer Mobility and International. The Company offers its services and products to consumers in the United States, Mexico and Latin America and to businesses and other providers of telecommunications services worldwide. It also owns and operates three regional TV sports networks, and retains non-controlling interests in another regional sports network and a network dedicated to game-related programming, as well as Internet interactive game playing. Its services and products include wireless communications, data/broadband and Internet services, digital video services, local and long-distance telephone services, telecommunications equipment, managed networking, and wholesale services. Its subsidiaries include AT&T Mobility and SKY Brasil Servicos Ltda.

#14 - People's United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT)

Dividend Yield: 3.5%
Track Record: 11 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 69.0%
Consensus Rating: Hold
Consensus Price Target: $18.96 (-4.4% Upside)

Insider Trades by Quarter for People's United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT)

People's United Financial logoPeople's United Financial, Inc. is a bank holding company and a financial holding company of People's United Bank (the Bank). The Bank is engaged in providing commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management services to individual, corporate and municipal customers. The Company operates through two segments: Commercial Banking and Retail Banking. Commercial Banking segment is engaged in commercial real estate lending, commercial and industrial lending, and commercial deposit gathering activities. It offers cash management, correspondent banking, municipal banking, institutional trust services, corporate trust, insurance services and private banking, among others. Retail Banking segment provides consumer lending (including residential mortgage and home equity lending) and consumer deposit gathering activities. The Retail Banking segment also includes brokerage, financial advisory services, investment management services, and life insurance and non-institutional trust services.

#15 - Questar (NYSE:STR)

Dividend Yield: 3.51%
Track Record: 38 Years of Consecutive Dividend Growth
Payout Ratio: 0.0%
Consensus Rating: N/A


Insider Trades by Quarter for Questar (NYSE:STR)

Questar logoDominion Questar Corp, formerly Questar Corporation, is an integrated natural gas holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries is principally engaged in three lines of business, which include Questar Gas Company (Questar Gas), which provides retail natural gas distribution in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho; Wexpro Company (Wexpro), which develops and produces natural gas from cost-of-service reserves for Questar Gas customers, and Questar Pipeline Company, which operates interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities in the western the United States and provides other energy services. The Company is also engaged in Corporate and Other operations, which include Questar Fueling Company (Questar Fueling) that builds, owns and operates compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations for fleet operators with medium- and heavy-duty trucks and tractors. Questar Gas distributes gas to customers along the Wasatch Front, Provo, Salt Lake, Ogden and other areas in Utah.







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