Dividend rate: The dividend rate per share is the actual cash amount paid to stockholders. In the US, most stocks pay dividends quarterly.Dividend yield: The dividend yield is the value that most investors want to see. It is a percentage given by the ratio of the annual dividend rate divided by the current stock price.Payout ratio: The payout ratio is a measure of dividend safety. It is the ratio of the annual dividend rate per share divided by annual earnings per share.
Verizon (VZ) is number one on this list for two reasons: an excellent dividend yield combined with good dividend safety.Verizon operates in a mature market with only two other large competitors, controlling 98%+ of the US wireless market.
The company’s signature products and services include Windows, MS Office, Xbox, LinkedIn, Bing, Outlook, Azure, and moreMicrosoft is the second-largest company by market capitalization at over $2.58 trillion.