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The Best Dividend Stocks List features Dividend.com’s top rated dividend stocks, geared toward traditional long-term, buy-and-hold investors. All stocks on this list hold Dividend.com DARS™ Ratings of 4.6 or higher, thus earning “Highly Recommended” ratings as the best dividend stocks to buy right now.

Recommendations for March 22, 2018

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Stock Symbol Company Name DARS™ Rating Current Yield Current Price Price Reco. Date Reco. Ex-Div Date Pay Date
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 5.0 2.56% $131.19 $112.08 05/02/16 02/26/18 03/13/18
UPS United Parcel Service 4.8 3.38% $107.65 $103.65 05/11/16 02/16/18 03/07/18
MMM 3M 4.8 2.32% $234.14 $170.15 05/13/16 02/15/18 03/12/18
4.6 2.28% $108.64 $60.44 05/25/16 01/30/18 02/12/18
5.0 1.97% $151.36 $113.83 06/01/16 02/22/18 03/09/18
4.6 2.36% $88.18 $71.75 06/23/16 12/06/18 01/02/19
4.8 2.65% $166.24 $139.26 06/30/16 03/29/18 05/14/18
4.6 1.63% $213.48 $135.95 07/01/16 04/10/18 05/10/18
5.0 2.72% $36.73 $35.87 07/06/16 03/28/18 04/17/18
5.0 2.20% $127.00 $108.84 11/30/16 02/15/18 03/10/18
5.0 2.11% $138.56 $103.15 12/07/16 02/27/18 03/30/18
5.0 3.24% $81.48 $68.85 12/14/16 03/09/18 03/23/18
5.0 1.91% $109.09 $80.73 01/18/17 03/14/18 04/13/18
5.0 1.93% $103.63 $92.62 02/08/17 04/03/18 04/18/18
4.8 2.30% $43.57 $47.82 02/14/17 03/14/18 04/01/18
5.0 1.63% $110.14 $82.44 04/25/17 03/06/18 03/21/18
4.8 2.75% $85.74 $83.98 05/09/17 02/02/18 02/28/18
5.0 2.98% $44.31 $42.10 01/24/18 04/04/18 04/25/18
5.0 2.06% $44.70 $42.89 02/22/18 06/26/17 07/20/17
5.0 2.77% $160.08 $151.68 02/28/18 02/26/18 03/15/18
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* Stock Price shown is previous day’s closing price.

** Recommended date/price reflects the stock’s price on the day the stock was added to the list.

How To Use the Best Dividend Stocks List

The stocks featured on our Best Dividend Stocks List are geared toward traditional long-term investors looking to boost their current income stream, while at the same time maintaining a relatively low risk profile. The stocks above have been hand picked by Dividend.com staff, which utilizes proprietary research and analysis to determine the best and safest dividend stocks to buy with “new money.”

What Our List Is

Our list contains compelling dividend paying stocks that have been thoroughly vetted and feature exceptional ratings via Dividend.com’s strict DARS™ criteria.

What Our List Is Not

Our list is not meant to represent a complete portfolio, nor is every stock on this list appropriate for all investors. We highly encourage investors to do their own research before making any investment decision.

Upgrades and Downgrades

When we remove a name from our “Recommended” dividend stocks list, that downgrade generally means that we no longer recommend adding to existing positions, or establishing new positions in that stock. More importantly, a removal from our list is almost never a “Sell” call.

On very rare occasions we may issue “Sell” calls if we feel the situation dictates. We also recommend investors to develop their own sell strategies to limit losses.

When a stock is added to our list, that means the stock’s ratings have been upgraded from “Neutral” to “Recommended.” This change is also known as a “Buy” call.

DARS™ – Dividend Advantage Rating System

Dividend.com was founded to make dividend investing easier for long-term and income-seeking investors. Much of our dividend research is compiled in our proprietary rating system, known as DARS™ (Dividend Advantage Rating System). Below is a detailed look at how we rate dividend stocks.

DARS™ Rating Criteria

Each DARS rating is comprised of the following five factors:

Relative Strength
The relative strength of a dividend stock indicates whether the stock is uptrending or not. The major determining factor in this rating is whether the stock is trading close to its 52-week-high.

Overall Yield Attractiveness
If a stock’s yield is above or near the market average then it will be rated higher within this parameter. High dividend yields (usually over 10%) should be considered extremely risky, while low dividend yields (1% or less) are simply not very beneficial to long-term investors.

Dividend Reliability
A stock’s dividend reliability is determined by a healthy payout ratio that is higher than other stocks. A company that pays out close to half its earnings as dividends and retains the other half of earnings has ample room to grow its business and pay out more dividends in the future.

Dividend Uptrend
A stock’s Dividend Uptrend rating is dependent on the company’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio to evaluate whether or not a stock’s dividend is likely to trend upward. If a stock is valued near, or slightly below the market average, research has shown that the market expects the stock’s dividend to increase.

Earnings Growth
A stock’s Earnings Growth rating evaluates a company’s expected EPS for the current financial year and compares it to next financial year’s expected EPS. Stocks with single-digit growth estimates will have a higher rating than others, as our research has shown that well-established dividend-paying companies have modest earnings growth estimates.

How to Interpret Dividend.com DARS™ Ratings

Each dividend-paying stock receives a rating of one to five stars for each of the five DARS™ factors outlined above. Stocks rated by Dividend.com all fall into one of four categories, based on their overall DARS™ Rating, which is an average of the five factors:

Highly Recommended (4.6 to 5)
A Highly Recommended dividend stock is considered an outstanding investment. Only stocks achieving DARS™ Ratings of 4.6 or above qualify for this prestigious distinction.

Recommended (3.6 to 4.5)
A Recommended dividend stock is considered a good dividend-paying stock to purchase at current levels. Only stocks achieving DARS™ Ratings of 3.6 to 4.5 stars qualify for this distinction.

Neutral (2.6 to 3.5)
A Neutral rating means a stock is considered an average investment at current levels. Stocks with DARS™ Ratings of 2.6 to 3.5 stars qualify for this grouping.

Avoid for Now (0.0 to 2.5)
An Avoid rating means a stock is not investable at the current time. Stocks with DARS™ Ratings lower than 2.5 stars are given this dubious distinction.

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