3 Top-Rated Dividend Stocks Wall Street Analysts Are Loving Now: January 2024

Stocks to buy

Many investors continue to prioritize dividends when buying stocks, relying on the payments for income, particularly in retirement. To many investors, dividends provide a more reliable and consistent return than stock price appreciation, which is prone to market fluctuations. These investors look for companies that make their dividend payouts a priority and steadily increase the amount paid to shareholders. Continuous growth in a dividend is also a sign of financial health and maturity at a company. Furthermore, it isn’t just retail investors and retirees that are on the hunt for the top-rated dividend stocks.

Even major investors such as Warren Buffett prioritize dividends. Consider that Buffett collects more than $700 million a year from his holding in Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) stock, and you can understand why he publicly complained when another of his holdings, Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA), cut their dividend to shareholders. Here are three top-rated dividend stocks Wall Street analysts are loving now: January 2024.

Top-Rated Dividend Stocks: Lennar (LEN)

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Home builder Lennar (NYSE:LEN) just announced that it is increasing its dividend payment to shareholders by 33% to 50 cents per share, effective on Feb. 7. Previously, Lennar had paid shareholders a quarterly dividend of 37.5 cents a share. While the dividend yield on LEN stock is still comparatively low at 1%, the company is being praised for hiking its payout to shareholders. The dividend increase comes after Lennar reported strong financial results right before Christmas.

Lennar issued fiscal fourth quarter results that handily beat Wall Street forecasts amid a resilient housing market. The company announced earnings per share (EPS) of $4.82 and revenue of $11 billion. Analysts had been calling for earnings of $4.59 and $10.20 billion in sales. For its full fiscal year, Lennar reported EPS of $13.73 on $34.20 billion in revenue, also ahead of expectations. Lennar said it received 17,366 new home orders in fiscal Q4, up 32% from a year earlier and beating estimates of 16,816.

LEN stock has gained 54% in the last 12 months.

Broadcom (AVGO)

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Owing to its high share price, semiconductor Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) pays a chunky quarterly dividend of $5.26 per share, giving it a yield of nearly 2%. Furthermore, Broadcom announced this past December that it was increasing its quarterly dividend payment by 14%, raising it from $4.60 a share previously. Broadcom announced the dividend hike as it too reported strong financial results that exceed expectations on Wall Street.

The company reported EPS of $11.06 for what was also its fiscal fourth quarter, topping consensus estimates of $10.96. Revenue came in at $9.3 billion, matching forecasts. In terms of forward guidance, Broadcom said that for its fiscal 2024 year, it expects to generate revenue of $50 billion, including its acquisition of VMware that was finalized last November. Wall Street had forecast full-year revenue of $39.2 billion for the company. AVGO stock has gained 91% over the last 12 months. This is easily one of the top-rated dividend stocks on the market.

Bank of America (BAC)

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Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) continues to prioritize its quarterly dividend payment despite encountering difficulties with its earnings and share price. Last November, the lender announced that it was raising its dividend by 9% to 24 cents a share, giving BAC stock a healthy yield of right around 3%. The dividend has grown from an annual total of 4 cents per share in 2013 to an annual payment of 96 cents today. That’s a yearly growth rate of 37% over the past decade.

Growth in the dividend comes despite Bank of America encountering choppy waters. The lender just reported its fourth-quarter 2023 financial results, and they did not impress Wall Street. The second biggest bank in the U.S. reported a Q4 profit of 35 cents per share, which was below forecasts of 53 cents a share. The lender’s earnings were down 59% from 85 cents a share in the year earlier period. Revenue totaled $21.96 billion, below forecasts of $23.7 billion. Sales were down 10% year-over-year.

The bank’s management team blamed the poor results on regulatory charges it has been forced to pay since last summer, including a $250 million fine related to junk fees. BAC stock has fallen 5% over the last 12 months. If you are looking for the top-rated dividend stocks on the market, start here.

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.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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