2 of the Best Dividend Stocks You Keep Overlooking

Graphic showing GM's exit of low profit businesses.

"I believe non- dividend stocks aren't much more than baseball cards. They are worth what you can convince someone to pay for it."

-- Mark Cuban

In a lot of ways, Cuban is obviously right. Markets will soar and markets will plunge, but owning dividend stocks means you have a more stable company that pays you consistently -- and that's worth a lot more to many investors. Here's one unloved high-yield dividend stock with a brighter future than many think in General Motors (NYSE: GM) and a mostly overlooked dividend juggernaut in Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE: SWK) .

Peak Auto? So what?

Addition by subtraction is a real thing. In this case, General Motors has done a phenomenal job minimizing or exiting low-profit businesses, including its sale of Opel/Vauxhall to wash its hands of a business that hadn't turned a profit since the late 1990s. In fact, GM had lost roughly $20 billion since the last time it turned a profit in 1998, which is an insane figure. That's not the only move it's making:

GM has taken significant steps toward shaping the future of its electric-vehicle portfolio by developing a Chevrolet Bolt with an estimated range of 238 miles and investing in a ride-hailing company Lyft. But what many people missed for so long was that the two topics were eventually going to intertwine as the industry progresses toward travel as a service. GM announced this week the production of 130 Chevy Bolt EB vehicles equipped with its next generation of self-driving technology.

But those are growth stories for tomorrow . What can GM offer today? While I've mentioned the addition by subtraction of its European operations, the company's major remaining markets are beginning to have more product symmetry. Between North America, South America, and China, there are many factors in common that can help GM build scale and cut costs. Those include fewer diesel engines (Europe had far more), a growing midsize truck market, and a focus on seven-passenger SUVs, among others.

The great thing for dividend investors is that much of the peak auto sales negativity is priced in, pushing the company's trailing-12-month price-to-earnings ratio down to 5. The company's dividend was reinstated in 2014 and has grown roughly 26% since then to $1.52 per share annually, a juicy yield of 4.4%. Because of the negativity priced in, the high yield, and proof it intends to evolve with the industry, GM is one of the most valuable dividends around.

Building a powerhouse

Despite being around since 1843, Stanley Black & Decker is still a powerhouse brand name and remains No. 1 in tools and storage, No. 2 in security services, and a global leader in engineered fastening, all based on revenue. While it already has a long track record of success, it envisions a much brighter future:

Picture this: Stanley Black & Decker envisions becoming a $22 billion diversified industrial company by 2022. You probably recognize its DeWalt, Stanley, and Black & Decker brands, and even the newer Craftsman addition, but it plans to keep growing. Its long-term capital allocation strategy is to return about 50% of free cash flow to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. The remaining 50%, however, will go toward acquisitions to create growth and potential cost synergies and scale.

And if you overlooked the company's dividend because of a meager 1.7% yield, you're missing out one of the most consistent and historic dividends out there. In fact, Stanley Black & Decker has made a staggering 140 consecutive years of dividend payments and has even boosted its dividend for 49 consecutive years. Between 2012 and 2016, its free cash flow recorded a compound annual growth rate of 10%, which proves its dividend is poised to continue its annual streaks for years to come.

Even though these two ancient companies have recognizable names, they've been largely left behind as dividend stocks -- and that's a mistake savvy investors shouldn't make.

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Daniel Miller owns shares of General Motors. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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