A stock market correction can be really good news for income-seeking investors. Why? The lower stock prices push dividend yields higher. That's exactly what has happened as the market has fallen over the past three months.
There are plenty of solid dividend stocks with higher yields as a result of the market carnage. Three great dividend stocks that you can buy right now are AT&T (NYSE: T), Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE: BIP), and Medical Properties Trust (NYSE: MPW). Here's why these three dividend stocks look especially attractive.
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AT&T's share price fell nearly 27% in 2018. But that didn't make a dent in the telecommunication giant's dividend payments. Actually, AT&T increased its dividend slightly for 2019, marking the 35th year in a row of dividend hikes. Its dividend yield now stands at 7.25%, a level any investor would love.
But can AT&T keep the dividends flowing? The short answer is "yes." The company continues to generate tremendous cash flow that's more than enough to fund its dividend program.
However, AT&T definitely faces some challenges. Customers continue to drop landlines like hot potatoes. AT&T's DirecTV is losing market share to streaming services. The wireless industry is as competitive as ever.
On the other hand, AT&T should reap the rewards as it rolls out high-speed 5G mobile networks. Growth in the Internet of Things, a world of connected devices, should also translate to higher revenue for the company. AT&T hopes to deliver more content offerings to customers as well from its acquisition of Time Warner. With these tailwinds approaching, the company's dividend should be secure for a long time to come.
2. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners also tumbled in 2018, with its stock falling 23%. The good news, though, is that the decline in its share price has helped lift Brookfield Infrastructure's dividend yield to nearly 5.6%.
Even better news is that the company should have no problems paying dividends in the future. Brookfield Infrastructure focuses, unsurprisingly, on infrastructure. The company owns communications towers, natural gas pipelines, ports, railroads, toll roads, and other assets -- the kinds of businesses that deliver a pretty steady revenue stream year in and year out.
Sure, Brookfield Infrastructure can run into problems. For example, the company's Q3 results disappointed investors. Brookfield Infrastructure's transportation segment faced headwinds in Brazil from lower volumes from mineral customers and the return of one of its toll road concessions to the government. Revenue for its utilities segment fell due to the sale of a Chilean electricity transmission business. Currency fluctuations also hurt the company's financial results.
But these are temporary issues. Brookfield Infrastructure should enjoy solid growth over the long run through acquisitions and overall global economic expansion driving demand for the kinds of infrastructure assets that it owns.
3. Medical Properties Trust
Medical Properties Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that specializes in healthcare properties, primarily hospitals. Unlike AT&T and Brookfield Infrastructure, Medical Properties Trust turned in a solid stock performance last year, with its share price climbing nearly 17%.
But Medical Properties Trust lost some ground at the end of 2018 in the broader market downturn. The company's dividend now yields 6.2% -- an attractive level, especially on top of the stock appreciation.
As an REIT, Medical Properties Trust must return at least 90% of its taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Some risks could threaten Medical Properties Trust's dividend, though. Higher interest rates could negatively impact the company, since it borrows to finance its property acquisitions. The company is highly dependent on three large customers. Financial problems for these customers could spill over to Medical Properties Trust.
However, the future appears to be bright for the company. Aging demographic trends should drive higher demand for healthcare services, which should translate to good news for hospital operators -- Medical Properties Trust's primary customer base. There are also plenty of opportunities for the company to acquire additional properties.
What about the trade-offs?
The main trade-off you make by buying high-yield stocks like AT&T, Brookfield Infrastructure Properties, and Medical Properties Trust is that they don't typically generate as much growth as other stocks might. If you're retired or approaching retirement, though, that trade-off isn't a bad one considering the tremendous dividends these stocks pay.
Of these three stocks, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners probably requires the least amount of sacrifice of long-term growth in exchange for the juicy yields. The company should be in a position to generate solid growth through acquisitions.
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