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3 Incredible Dividend Stocks to Buy Now and Hold Forever

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Some companies simply have a knack for rewarding their shareholders. They pay above-average-yielding dividends that grow each year.

Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD), NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE), and Brookfield Infrastructure (NYSE: BIPC)(NYSE: BIP) stand out to three Fool.com contributors for their incredible ability to pay dividends. Here’s why they think these are great dividend stocks to buy right now and hold for a potential lifetime of income.

Enterprise owns necessary midstream assets

Reuben Gregg Brewer (Enterprise Products Partners): According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), two of the most important monitors of the energy industry, demand for natural gas and oil will remain robust until at least 2050. That’s as far as their current projections go, and they include a rapid increase in the demand for clean energy. Simply put, energy transitions take a very long time, and for the next quarter of a century or so, oil and natural gas will still be vital to the world economy. It seems highly unlikely that demand for oil and gas will fall off a cliff after 2050.

This is the backdrop that supports North American midstream giant Enterprise Products Partners’ ability to keep paying distributions to unitholders. Currently, the yield is an attractive 7.6%. That’s backed by an investment grade-rated balance sheet, 25 years of annual distribution increases, and distributable cash flow that covered the distribution by 1.7 times in 2023. It is in rock-solid shape.

But the biggest thing to like about Enterprise is its portfolio of vital energy infrastructure, which includes energy pipelines, storage, transportation, and processing assets. It charges fees for the use of these assets, which help to move oil and natural gas around the world. As long as the world still needs oil and natural gas, the world still needs Enterprise. And that means hefty distributions for years to come.

An elite dividend-growth stock

Matt DiLallo (NextEra Energy): NextEra Energy has done an incredible job of growing its dividend over the years. The utility has increased its payout annually for more than a quarter century. Those haven’t been token raises to keep its streak alive. The company has grown its payout at an 11% compound annual rate over the last decade even as it has grown into one of the country’s largest utilities. It has increased its earnings faster than its rivals, fueled by its focus on Florida and renewables.

The company is in an excellent position to continue growing its 3.3%-yielding dividend at a healthy rate. It expects to deliver around 10% annual dividend growth through at least this year. The utility could continue increasing its payout at a solid pace in the future. NextEra Energy expects to grow its earnings at or near the top end of its 6% to 8% target range through at least 2026 while maintaining its strong financial profile.

Meanwhile, it should have plenty of power to keep growing beyond 2026, fueled by the growing demand for clean energy. Estimates suggest that the U.S. needs to invest $4 trillion through 2050 to decarbonize its economy. That should give it plenty of opportunities to invest in wind, solar, battery storage, and electricity transmission projects. On top of that, it could capitalize on emerging opportunities, like green hydrogen.

NextEra Energy’s early focus on capturing the massive clean energy opportunity has helped power outsized dividend growth over the years. This megatrend should continue powering its dividend in the decades to come. That makes it an ideal dividend stock to buy and hold for a lifetime of growing income.

Rock-steady dividend growth with a big yield

Neha Chamaria (Brookfield Infrastructure): Brookfield Infrastructure proved its mettle yet again earlier in February with its numbers for the fourth quarter and full year 2023. The infrastructure giant, which owns and operates steady cash-flow generating assets across sectors like utilities, transportation, midstream energy, and data infrastructure, grew its funds from operations (FFO) by 10% in 2023. Organic growth was 8%, and the company sold mature assets worth nearly $1.9 billion to deploy the proceeds into new investments.

All in all, 2023 was a solid year for Brookfield Infrastructure. Even better, the company expects 2024 to be an even bigger year. That makes this stock an incredibly solid buy now for investors who love dividends as they can safely expect a good dividend raise from the company while enjoying a big yield.

Brookfield Infrastructure has a solid dividend track record — it increased its dividend for the 15th consecutive year this month, rewarding its shareholders with a 6% dividend raise. That’s in line with the company’s long-term target of growing its dividend by 5% to 9% every year. Shares of both the partnership and corporation currently yield 5%.

Higher interest rates are a headwind for Brookfield Infrastructure, but the company has continued to deliver so far as it remains laser-focused on recycling capital, replacing mature assets across its portfolio with better-return acquisitions that should boost its cash flows. With its dividend growth and yield combined, Brookfield Infrastructure will likely generate double-digit returns for shareholders every year. As for its stock price, while it should be driven by earnings and dividend growth, external catalysts, like a fall in interest rates, could be an even bigger catalyst for the stock.

Should you invest $1,000 in Enterprise Products Partners right now?

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Matt DiLallo has positions in Brookfield Infrastructure, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, Enterprise Products Partners, and NextEra Energy. Neha Chamaria has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Reuben Brewer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends NextEra Energy. The Motley Fool recommends Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and Enterprise Products Partners. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

3 Incredible Dividend Stocks to Buy Now and Hold Forever was originally published by The Motley Fool

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