The biggest dividend in America
This company pays out more -- over $10 billion a year -- than any other in the US.
AT&T (T) pays more dividends than any other company in America. In total, it distributes over $2.5 billion every quarter, or about $10.2 billion each year.
And this isn't some special one-time dividend. This company has paid a dividend for decades... and raised payments for 28 consecutive years, even through the 2008-2009 downturn. Right now the stock pays a 5.6% yield. But dividends are growing quickly. In the past decade, the dividend payment is up 72%.
That dedication to dividends has paid off. Today, AT&T pays more in dividends than any other company in America.
I don't think I need to tell you too many details about AT&T's business for you to know where those dividends come from. As one of the nation's largest telecoms, the company earns a bundle in recurring revenue for providing wireless, digital cable, and Internet services.
But can the company continue to pay its massive dividends ... and continue to grow them?
AT&T certainly seems confident it can. In fact, in January the company announced a $9 billion buyback plan (equal to about 5% of shares outstanding). Reducing the share count will allow for more flexibility in meeting the dividend.
Meanwhile, the rise of smartphones has business booming. Last quarter, smartphone activations were up 60% year-over-year, helping lead to a 10% rise in wireless revenues.
But the truth is, AT&T's yearly results were down in 2011 compared to 2010. In fact, the company saw net income of just $0.66 per share for the year -- well below the $1.76 per share it pays in dividends.
The main reason for its low earnings is one-time events that occurred in the fourth quarter: pension charges and a break-up fee from its failed buyout of T-Mobile. Taking out those one-time expenses, the company earned $2.20 per share -- more than enough to cover the dividend.
There's no doubt AT&T is facing some headwinds. Large debt and a capital-intensive business take up money that could otherwise be used for dividends.
But there is also little doubt the company is dedicated to paying -- and increasing -- dividends to its investors.
After all, you don't pay more than $10 billion a year in dividends if you aren't serious about putting money in your investors' pockets.
I own AT&T for my $200,000 real-money Daily Paycheck Portfolio.
Complain, complain, complain...........if you were smart, you'd invest in American companies and take their quarterly dividends to the bank. But, of course, you'd complain about the banks. You'll never be happy!
Better check your source, I've gotten my didvened checks every quarter, last one on 2/1/12.
They haven't missed a dividend payment even through teh 2008-2010 market nor did they reduce it.
We, the 99% American People, are at the breaking point; we can't feed our families! CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT??? It's time for change, and that time is NOW! Not later, but right NOW!
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.