The Best Dividend Stocks of 2015

When investing in dividend stocks , the primary goal isn't necessarily to make a boatload of money right away. Rather, most of us invest in dividend stocks for a stable, growing income stream that will build wealth over time. Still, dividend stocks do experience some big moves from time to time. In fact, here are 10 dividend stocks that produced total returns of 45% or more in 2015.

Why did these stocks do so well?

There are several reasons why dividend stocks can deliver such incredible performance.

For example, Piedmont Natural Gas didn't have a particularly great year, in business terms. In fact, utility providers rarely have big swings in profitability, which is one of the reasons investors looking for consistency gravitate toward this type of stock. However, Duke Energy announced plans to acquire the energy provider by the end of 2016 at a nice premium, which is the main reason shareholders achieved a 48.7% total return for the year -- the sixth highest in the group.

On the other hand, Reynolds American's 48.2% return was due to the company having an excellent year. Thanks to the Lorillard acquisition, revenue jumped and EPS climbed by 17% year over year. Plus, the company's brands gained U.S. market share -- a positive sign for the future.

The list

For the purposes of determining the best-performing dividend stocks of 2015, I used the following criteria.

  • Market capitalization of $1 billion or more
  • Dividend yield between 2% and 12%
  • Listed on either the NYSE or NASDAQ

In other words, I eliminated small companies and those that pay extremely small or large dividends. After all, if a stock pays less than 2% it probably won't appeal to many income-seekers, and if a stock pays more than 12%, it generally means that the dividend isn't sustainable or the company itself is in trouble.

With that in mind, here are the 10 best performing dividend stocks of 2015:

The $15,978 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook

If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. In fact, one MarketWatch reporter argues that if more Americans knew about this, the government would have to shell out an extra $10 billion annually. For example: one easy, 17-minute trick could pay you as much as $15,978 more... each year! Once you learn how to take advantage of all these loopholes, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how you can take advantage of these strategies.

The article The Best Dividend Stocks of 2015 originally appeared on

Matthew Frankel has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B (ADR). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

Copyright © 1995 - 2015 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. 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.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More