The Best High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Our 7 Top Picks

In today’s market, investors have plenty of options when it comes to high-yield stocks. However, it is best to be selective and focus on the best high-yield dividend stocks. Sure, you could go out and buy a basket of stocks offering double-digit dividend yields, but this may not necessarily produce market-beating returns. Losses from dividend traps could outweigh payouts received from a high-yield portfolio.

In contrast, a focus on quality can produce strong returns, in two ways. First of course, from the dividend. These names are not the highest yielders out there, yet at the same time, their respective yields are typically much more secure. Second, these stocks can produce strong returns from price appreciation. With growth catalysts in place, it’s not as if they are doomed to merely tread water, only producing positive total returns from their payouts. So, what are some of the best high-yield dividend stocks currently out there? Consider these seven. Each one sports a yield of at least 5% and has strong potential to steadily appreciate in price.

F Ford $12.28
GLPI Gaming and Leisure Properties $54.05
IIPR Innovative Industrial Properties $85.16
NYCB New York Community $8.54
PM Philip Morris $98.27
STR Sitio Royalties $24.09
WU Western Union $12.82

Ford (F)

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After suspending its dividend during the pandemic, Ford (NYSE:F) brought it back in late 2021 and has since raised it back to its pre-pandemic level (15 cents per share quarterly). At today’s prices, this gives shares a forward yield of around 5%.

However, it’s not only this moderately-high yield that makes F stock a buy. This incumbent automaker is making a big pivot towards eventually producing mainly electric vehicles (or EVs). Originally going on a hot run because of this catalyst in 2021, over the past year the stock has coughed back almost all of these gains.

Mainly, due to concerns that the current economic downturn will have a serious impact on its overall operating performance. However, with sell-side analysts expecting strong earnings in 2024 and 2025, as economic conditions improve, and EV adoption continues to accelerate, F may be in for a serious recovery.

Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI)

Real estate investment trust REIT on an office desk.

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Spun off from Penn Entertainment (NASDAQ:PENN) a decade ago, Gaming and Leisure Properties (NASDAQ:GLPI) was the first casino-focused real estate investment trust (or REIT). Since then, GLPI has become a large owner of casino real estate, with tenants besides its former corporate parent. With the rent collected from its geographically-diversified portfolio of casino properties, this REIT provides investors with a forward yield of 5.35%. Despite current macro concerns, GLPI stock is up by double-digits over the past year. Shares could continue to perform well. At least, that’s the view of Jeffries’ David Katz.

The sell-side analyst recently reiterated his buy rating on GLPI, citing the REIT’s recent strong operating results, as well as its growth prospects. GLPI continues to pursue additional acquisitions of casino real estate. With this in mind, plus GLPI’s recent 2% increase to its payout, be sure to add this high-yielder to your watchlist.

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR)

marijuana stocks image of marijuana leaf on top of several one-hundred dollar bills, ACB stock

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At first glance, Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) may seem better suited for a list of the top dividend traps, as opposed to the best high-yield dividend stocks to buy. Yet while shares in this specialty REIT have plunged in the past year, due to tenant default fears, it may pay off to go contrarian at today’s prices.

In case you don’t know, IIPR owns a portfolio of real estate properties that house state-licensed cannabis production facilities. In prior years, IIPR stock was a richly-priced growth play. Now, however, it has become a deep value play. As a Seeking Alpha commentator recently argued, IIPR’s current stock price overly prices in the prospect of increased tenant defaults. While still risky, the potential rewards from this mispricing may make it worthwhile. IIPR has a 8.14% forward dividend yield and could experience a big rebound as its strong operating results disprove current fears.

New York Community Bancorp (NYCB)

A photo of a paper with a chart and the word

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New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYCB) is a high-yield stock that I’ve noted in the past as a standout in this category. This regional bank holding company not only offers an above-average dividend yield (7.66%). NYCB stock has solid upside potential as well. This bank has grown its earnings in the past year and could continue to do so. The reasons for this are twofold. First, as management discussed in NYCB’s latest earnings release, higher interest rates mean a higher net interest margin.

Second, the recent acquisition of Flagstar Bancorp is expected to produce synergies that will also drive increased earnings. A rise in earnings will likely produce a similar rise in NYCB’s stock price. Improved operating results could potentially lead to re-rating as well. NYCB, valued at 7.1 times earnings today, trades at a big discount compared to other stocks in the regional banking industry.

Philip Morris International (PM)

packs of cigarettes in convenience store rack

Source: defotoberg / Shutterstock.com

Philip Morris International’s (NYSE:PM) legacy business is the production and sale of cigarettes overseas. The owner of the Marlboro brand outside the United States, cigarettes remains its cash cow.

As such, PM stock provides investors with a high yield of 5.22%. Yet what makes PM one of the best high-yield dividend stocks has to do with its growth potential. This big tobacco firm has made progress in embracing a “smoke-free future.” This includes its success with heated tobacco product IQOS, plus its acquisition last year of smokeless tobacco/nicotine products maker Swedish Match.

As I have discussed previously, PM’s smoke-free success gives it much better growth prospects than other companies in the industry. Although its peers offer high dividend yields, over time, through a combination of earnings growth, share price growth, and dividend growth, this may result in much better returns for this particular “sin stock.”

Sitio Royalties (STR)

A hand reaches out of a mailbox holding a wad of cash.

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After slumping in recent months, crude oil prices are holding steady. If you are bullish that this continues, or that, due to supply/demand trends, prices will climb higher again, a great way to make such a wager is to buy Sitio Royalties (NYSE:STR).

Why? Sitio owns oil and gas mineral and royalty interests. Accumulating a large portfolio of these assets over the past year, the company would benefit tremendously from a rebound in fossil fuel prices, given the high margins and high operating leverage associated with its business.

That said, even if energy prices hold steady, STR stock could pay off tremendously for investors buying today. If the company merely maintains its current rate of payout, shares yield 12.25%. As I argued back in February, Sitio also continues to pursue accretive acquisitions, which could result in further growth, both for the dividend and for STR’s stock price.

Western Union (WU)

The word

Source: Shutterstock

Western Union (NYSE:WU) is another name that looks more like a dividend trap than one of the best high-yield dividend stocks. Check out commentary on the money transfer giant, and you’ll see plenty of people calling it a “dinosaur” in the payments industry.

But while this old-school payment services company’s earnings have dropped since 2021, WU stock may still make for a worthwhile holding in a dividend investor’s portfolio. High uncertainty about the company’s future prospects has knocked shares down to a super-low valuation of just 5.5 times earnings. As a result of the pullback, shares now sport a forward dividend yield of 7.25%.

Western Union’s digital transformation efforts may fail to drive earnings growth, but they may be enough to keep earnings steady going forward. This will enable the company to maintain its high payout. If you’re looking strictly for high yield, consider WU a worthy choice.

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

Thomas Niel, contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.

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