Dividend Stocks

3 Dividend Stock Darlings You’d Be Crazy to Ever Sell

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Dividend stocks attract many investors due to their passive income. It doesn’t take much effort to generate steady cash flow from these investments. You just have to find attractive dividend stocks, collect the dividends, and hold onto your winners.

Time in the market beats timing the market. Some dividend stocks keep on giving, with elevated dividend growth rates and rising profits. While some investors look at price fluctuations to determine whether to buy or sell stocks, it makes more sense to hold onto long-term dividend stocks. Yields rise with the dips, and strong earnings reports validate long-term investors’ convictions.

Wondering which dividend stocks present buy-and-hold opportunities for patient investors? These are some of the top stocks to consider that combine high dividend growth rates, compelling returns, and long-term runways. Wall Street is pounding the table for these stocks and believes that these corporations still present some upside for their investors.

Dividend Stocks: American Express (AXP)

the American Express logo etched into wood

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American Express (NYSE:AXP) is a leading provider of credit and debit cards that continues to win over younger generations. Most of the company’s new account holders in the first quarter were Millennials and Gen Z consumers. That wasn’t the only good news from the first quarter. Revenue increased by 11% year-over-year, while net income was up by 34% year-over-year. American Express is fulfilling its multi-year plan, which projects 9% to 11% revenue growth each year beyond 2026. EPS growth is expected to be in the mid-teens during that same stretch.

Shares have been on a solid stretch. They’re up by 21% year-to-date and have gained 83% over the past five years. American Express trades at a 19 P/E ratio and offers a 1.23% yield. The P/E ratio is lower than other credit and debit card issuers, while its yield is higher. American Express also has an impressive double-digit dividend growth rate. The fintech firm hiked its dividend by 17% this year.

Cintas (CTAS)

Image of the Cintas (CTAS) logo on the side of a white van.

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Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS) has a diversified customer pool that includes more than one million businesses. The company has provided essential business supplies and safety equipment for small businesses and corporations since the Great Depression.

The stock only offers a 0.76% yield but makes up for it with an impressive growth rate. Cintas has maintained an annualized dividend growth rate of 21.05% over the past decade. That’s not the only thing growing. The corporation’s stock has gained 20% year-to-date while more than tripling over the past five years.

Rising revenue and profit margins have generated plenty of buzz among shareholders, and that’s part of the reason the stock has outperformed the market. Revenue increased by 9.9% year-over-year in Q3 FY24, while net income was up by 22.0% year-over-year.

Cintas is currently rated as a Moderate Buy with a projected 3% upside from current levels. The highest price target of $790 per share suggests that Cintas can gain an additional 12%.

Walmart (WMT)

Walmart (WMT) sign on front of Walmart store at sundown

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Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has been attracting more investors as its e-commerce and advertising segments continue to grow and support higher profit margins. Those segments were up by 21% and 24% year-over-year, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2025. Overall revenue increased by 6.0% year-over-year to reach $161.5 billion.

The company’s affordable prices and dominant position as a global retailer and grocery should help it generate solid returns in the years to come. Shares are up by 27% year-to-date and have gained 82% over the past five years. Many Wall Street analysts believe that there’s more momentum in this rally that remains untapped. The average price target implies a 9% upside from current levels. The stock has received 25 Buy ratings and 3 Hold ratings, making it a consensus Strong Buy.

Walmart offers a 1.23% yield, and a recent 9% dividend boost suggests that more growth is on the way. This dividend hike marks Walmart’s 51st consecutive year of dividend increases.

On the date of publication, Marc Guberti 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.comPublishing Guidelines.

Marc Guberti is a finance freelance writer at InvestorPlace.com who hosts the Breakthrough Success Podcast. He has contributed to several publications, including the U.S. News & World Report, Benzinga, and Joy Wallet.

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