3 Top High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Fortify Your Portfolio: Q1 2024

One of the best ways to generate income and keep your portfolio safe is with high-yield dividend stocks. After all, companies with an attractive yield and strong cash flows to boot can help you outperform even the most treacherous markets.

Look at high-yield dividend stocks, like Realty Income (NYSE:O), for example. 

With a yield of 5.91%, the company which refers to itself as The Monthly Dividend Company, has been paying out dividends for 31 years now. Even better, it’s a dependable real estate investment trust (REIT) that uses a triple net lease, where the tenant pays the taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. Plus, it owns retail properties that house recession-proof businesses, like grocery stores and convenience stores.

That’s the kind of reliability – and consistent income–that will keep your portfolio strong. In fact, here are just some of the other top high-yield dividend stocks to buy and hold today.

Medical Properties Trust (MPW)

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With a yield of 14.1%, Medical Properties Trust (NYSE:MPW) is also a triple net lease real estate investment trust (REIT). It owns more than 430 hospitals across nine countries, including the United States. Even better, its cash flow is reliable because its tenants sign triple net lease agreements.

Plus, earnings haven’t been too shabby. Despite issues with its Steward Health Care client, which has struggled to pay rent, the REIT’s fourth quarter FFO (funds from operations) came in at 36 cents. That was higher than a forecast of 29 cents. It also posted a revenue loss of $122.83 million from $380.49 million quarter over quarter.

While that’s not the best news, consider this. The REIT’s yield attracted billionaire investors. In the fourth quarter, Phillipe Laffont for example increased his stake in MPW by more than 18%. Millennium Management’s Israel Englander increased his stake by nearly 54%. Even Citadel Advisors’ Ken Griffin just increased his stake by nearly 75%.

With a 14.1% yield, triple net leases with hospitals, and billionaire interest, I may jump in too.

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR)

A close-up shot of a marijuana growhouse. cannabis trends

Source: Shutterstock

With a yield of 7.43%, Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) is a commercial mortgage real estate investment trust that provides financing to the cannabis industry with loans. After taking its fair share of bumps and bruises over the last couple of years, it’s coming back strong. 

In fact, since bottoming out in November at around $70 it’s now at $98. From here, if IIPR can break above resistance at around $103.23, it could run to $110. Helping, more states are legalizing the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis, and there’s speculation we could hear more about the potential for federal legalization as we near elections.

IIPR also just raised its dividend to $1.82 a share, and has been producing solid earnings. For example, its fourth quarter funds from operations (FFO) was $2.07, beating expectations for $2.02. It’s also up nicely year over year from $1.95. Revenue of $79.2 million was also above estimates for $76.5 million. That’s also up nicely from the $70.5 million posted a year ago. It also collected 100% rent in the quarter as compared to 97% in the prior quarter. 

Verizon (VZ)

Verizon Wireless sign and trademark logo.

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There’s also Verizon (NYSE:VZ), one of the biggest telecom companies in the world, with a yield of 6.65% to boot. Better, it has now increased its yield for 17 straight years, and should be able to continue doing so for quite some time. In fact, it just raised it again this week to $0.665 and is payable on May 1 to shareholders of record as of April 10.

Even better, the dividend is in no danger of being cut. In fact, late last year, company CEO Hans Erik Vestberg said Verizon’s “dividend coverage is very healthy. Year-to-date our free cash flow dividend payout ratio is approximately 56%, a significant improvement from a year ago,” as quoted by Barron’s. Even Verizon’s CFO Anthony Skiadas has said “the dividend commitment is one of the main capital-allocation priorities for Verizon.”

Plus, analysts at KeyBanc just upgraded the VZ stock to an overweight rating from sector weight, with a price target of $45. The firm also expects for 2024 to be one of the best years for Verizon, with EBITDA growth expected to rise to more than 2% year over year.

“The analysts also expect postpaid-phone subscriber growth to continue at above average pace for the industry, with capital expenditure also coming down. The lack of competitive intensity in the sector was another reason behind the upgrade,” as also noted by Barron’s.

On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Ian Cooper, a contributor to InvestorPlace.com, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999.

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