In a world where so many individuals have the goal of making their money work for them, investors look to dividend-paying stocks to create a stream of passive income for retirement

Sounds great, right? Buy stocks now that will eventually appreciate over time, and create an income stream that should also theoretically grow alongside said earnings. Many long-term investors are always on the hunt for these “golden geese”.

That said, for those looking to add exposure to dividend-paying stocks, obviously not all are created equal. Some may have distributions that are unsustainable, while others may lack the kind of growth that’s necessary to sustain dividend increases to keep pace with inflation over time.

Accordingly, the dividend-paying stocks investors choose must have solid financial prospects, and a core business model that’s resilient to disruption. Here are three great options on my radar right now.

Realty Income Corporation (O)

Hands holding a miniature house and keys

Source: Shutterstock

First on this list of dividend-paying stocks to buy is Realty Income Corporation (NYSE:O), a real estate investment trust specializing in acquiring and owning commercial properties across the United States. With a portfolio primarily composed of essential goods and services, Realty Income is in a solid position to profit from the resurgence of the retail real estate market.

Most annualized rental revenue for this particular real estate investment trust come from retail tenants whose businesses offer services, essential goods, or low-priced products. Additionally, the trust has a well-diversified portfolio encompassing various tenants, industries, geographic locations, and property types.

Realty Income’s external growth appears promising due to its successful acquisitions and development projects. In 2022, the company invested a substantial amount of $8.9 billion towards 1,301 properties, which included properties under expansion or development.

Realty Income has an extensive record of raising dividends, earning it the trademarked title of “The Monthly Dividend Company” due to their monthly dividend payments. Although the Covid-19 recession was brief, lasting only two months, it resulted in very few companies increasing their dividends during that period. However, during the more significant Great Recession of 2007-2009, Realty Income increased its monthly dividend thrice.

O is currently traded at a reasonable multiple of 15.4-times 2022 Funds from Operation (FFO) per share, which is typical for a high-quality real estate investment trust. In addition, the stock boasts an impressive dividend yield of 4.9%, nearly three times higher than the S&P 500 average. Realty Income should be seen as a solid, conservative choice for a core holding for any income-focused investor.

Devon Energy (DVN)

The logo for Devon Energy (DVN) is displayed on a sign outside an office.

Source: Jeff Whyte /

Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), a hydrocarbon exploration company based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is among the best dividend growth stocks available due to its underlying relevance. For passive income investors, Devon provides an impressive forward yield of 6.63%, surpassing the average yield of the energy sector, which stands at 4.24%. Despite having a relatively elevated payout ratio of 51.68%, Devon’s dividend payout remains manageable.

Potential investors in Devon Energy can take advantage of a possible bargaining opportunity. Presently, the market values DVN stock at a trailing multiple of 5.2-times earnings. This places the company ahead of 61.9% of competitors, when considering discounted earnings. Thus, Devon trades at a forward multiple of 6.7-times, ranking the company better than 60% of the industry.

In the company’s Q4 and full-year 2022 results press release, Devon Energy revealed a fixed dividend increase of 11% for 2023. Devon also plans to allocate $3.6 billion to $3.8 billion toward capital expenditures. This is due to the temporary installation of a fourth frac that expanded in its Delaware Basin during the quarter.

Devon Energy is highly-effective in its operations, with a five-year earnings growth rate of 54.3%, surpassing 86% of its competitors. In addition, its net margin stands at 31.38%, higher than 83% of its sector. Moreover, analysts covering the company have designated DVN as a consensus moderate buy, with the average price target of $67.69 indicating a potential upside of over 22%.

Pfizer (PFE)

Pfizer logo on Pfizer building. Pfizer is an American pharmaceutical corporation.

Source: Manuel Esteban /

Last on our list of dividend-paying stocks to buy is none other than biotech giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).

There are several reasons investors should consider buying today, the most significant being its current plan to acquire Seagen. The acquisition, announced on Mar. 13, will see Pfizer purchasing the oncology drug developer for $43 billion in cash, with the funding generated from new debt. Seagen’s product portfolio is expected to generate $2.2 billion in revenue this year. By 2030, it is projected to generate approximately $10 billion in annual revenue, making it a lucrative investment for Pfizer.

Indeed, Pfizer’s acquisition of Seagen will take time to impact the company’s revenue, as its sales guidance for 2023 is already high at up to $71 billion. However, the acquisition is expected to position Pfizer as a significant player in the oncology industry. Seagen’s product portfolio will bring in around $10 billion in annual revenue by 2030.

Investors may be cautious about investing in PFE stock due to the expected decrease in vaccine demand. However, Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine has boosted the company’s financials, providing new avenues and possibilities. Its management team is projecting non-coronavirus sales of approximately one billion dollars by 2030, representing a solid 7% growth from 2019. Additionally, analysts predict sales will increase 74.6% from 2019 estimates by fiscal 2024.

On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald 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 Publishing Guidelines.

Chris MacDonald’s love for investing led him to pursue an MBA in Finance and take on a number of management roles in corporate finance and venture capital over the past 15 years. His experience as a financial analyst in the past, coupled with his fervor for finding undervalued growth opportunities, contribute to his conservative, long-term investing perspective.

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