Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for 2021

When looking at dividend-paying companies, I see several thematic tailwinds that should continue to blow rather hard through 2021.

Companies whose businesses are properly positioned to capitalize on these tailwinds should see a pronounced impact on revenue, profits and cash flow. Those companies with a track record of boosting dividends may even raise them further. 

Here I’ll identify three key tailwinds for the year and then zero in on those dividend payers poised to upsize their 2021 dividends payments to shareholders.


We are in the very early innings for the buildout of not only 5G networks, but also WiFi 6, which will bring faster data speeds, improve network capacity and foster a fresh round of hardware upgrades. They will also usher in a new set of applications that will accelerate data consumption and foster it, as well. 

This multiyear deployment will drive demand for a variety of processing and connectivity chips and that means we will likely see further dividend increases from Broadcom (AVGO) and Qualcomm (QCOM).

Both companies fit with my “buy the bullets, not the guns” investing strategy, as they supply virtually all the key hardware players that will benefit from the 5G and WiFi 6 upgrade cycle. They’ve also been increasing their dividends for more than nine years each. 

With dividend payout ratios hovering near 60% for AVGO shares and below 40% for QCOM shares, both companies could easily up their dividends as their revenue and earnings climb in 2021.

Plant-Based Proteins Yield Opportunity

The global plant-based protein market size is projected to grow to $14.5 billion by 2025 from $10.3 billion in 2020, according to data published by Research and Markets. We’ve seen a number of restaurant companies from Jack in the Box (JACK) and Papa John’s (PZZA) introduce plant-based alternatives on their menus and in 2021 McDonald’s (MCD) is slated to join their ranks with the “McPlant” Burger. 

Most would quickly think of Beyond Meat (BYND) as a way to play this shift in consumer preference, but for us dividend-seeking investors the shares simply don’t cut the mustard. The reason is the company isn’t, at least yet, a dividend payer.

Here’s the thing, to drive consumer adoption for those and other plant-based protein products, they will need to taste and smell delicious. That’s where International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), a company that has grown its dividend consecutively over the last 18 years, enters the picture. 

As its name suggests, International Flavors & Fragrances brings a portfolio of taste, scent and complementary adjacent products that supply some 38,000 customers in approximately 200 countries. Roughly two-thirds of the company’s products are derived from its taste portfolio, while the balance is from the scent. That portfolio is also poised to benefit from the shift in consumer preference to natural ingredients, including flavor and fragrance, as well as rising disposable income in the emerging markets. Even after increasing its dividend for nearly 20 years, the company’s dividend payout ratio is roughly 55%, which implies there is ample room for further increases. Keep in mind, the consensus is for earnings per share of $6.16 for IFF in 2021, up from $5.59 in 2020.

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