For most of 2021, investor focus was on growth stocks and highly speculative stocks. Things have changed significantly in 2022, with portfolios going overweight on defensive stocks. Unfortunately, it seems this challenging macroeconomic environment is likely to persist in 2023.
It therefore makes sense to create a portfolio that’s slightly overweight on blue-chip, defensive stocks.
So where should you be looking? Among defensive stocks, it’s a good idea to hold dividend stocks raising payouts in 2023. Besides providing higher cash inflow for investors, dividend growth can also translate into stock re-rating and capital gains.
Below are four dividend stocks likely to raise payouts in 2023. They have all provided visibility into their revenue and cash flow growth in the next year and beyond.
Dividend Yield: 0.58%
Along with providing visibility for sustained earnings growth, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock is also a quality dividend stock. With the current dividend yield of 0.58%, I expect Apple to be among the dividend stocks raising payouts aggressively.
It’s also worth noting that the stock trades at a forward price-earnings-ratio of 25x Valuations are attractive considering its innovation factor, strong balance sheet and visibility for sustained growth.
For Q3 2022, Apple reported revenue of $83 billion. Healthy growth in the services segment was the key highlight. Further, with nearly $180 billion in cash and equivalents, Apple is positioned to increase dividends and aggressively repurchase shares.
The cash buffer will also support investment in innovation and inorganic growth. With speculations continuing on the company’s electric car, there is a potential catalyst for stock upside.
Another point to note is that Apple derived 86% of Q3 2022 revenue from Americas, Europe and Greater China. There is ample headroom for growth in other emerging markets like India and Southeast Asia.
Costco Wholesale (COST)
Dividend Yield: 0.68%
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) has a excellent track record of dividend growth. Since the initiation of dividends in May 2004, the company’s dividend has increased at a CAGR of 13%.
Even with some near-term headwinds for the retail sector, I believe that COST is among the dividend stocks raising payouts in 2023.
For the year ended 2022, Costco has reported net sales of $222.7 billion. On a year-over-year basis, sales have increased by 15.9%. Healthy growth in sales has been a result of building a strong omni-channel sales network. As top-line growth sustains, I expect dividend growth in 2023.
For the last 12 months, Costco generated $4.1 billion in membership fees. With new stores, membership fees are likely to swell further. This will continue to have a positive impact on cash flows. Just for Q3 2022, Costco reported $854 million in operating cash flows.
Overall, COST stock is worth holding in the long-term portfolio. The stock trades at a valuation premium as compared to peers. However, that seems justified considering the growth trajectory.
Dividend Yield: 3.5%
With a 3.5% dividend yield, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is another high-quality dividend stock to consider. With a positive outlook for oil prices, CVX stock also looks attractive at a forward P/E of 10x.
Coming to dividends, there are two reasons to believe that dividend growth is likely in 2023. First, Chevron has a strong balance sheet.
Furthermore, for Q2 2022, the company reported operating cash flow of $13.3 billion. With low break-even assets, free cash flows are likely to remain robust. Even if oil trades around $80 per barrel, dividend growth can sustain along with aggressive share repurchases.
Chevron also plans to invest $15 billion to $17 billion annually over the next few years. This will ensure stable production and healthy cash flows. Overall, CVX stock is a top pick from the oil and gas sector. Even after a rally of 66% in the last 12 months, the stock is attractively valued.
Dividend Yield: 3.4%
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) stock is another attractive dividend stock with potential for dividend growth in 2023.
From a business perspective, Pfizer reported free cash flow of $29.9 billion in 2021. The surge in cash flows was due to Covid-19 vaccine sales. The cash allows Pfizer to invest heavily in research and development. At the same time, the company has been pursuing acquisitions in the last few quarters.
With a deep pipeline of drugs in various phases of clinical trials, there is clear growth visibility. This will ensure sustained cash flow upside and value creation through higher dividends and share repurchases.
PFE stock is also a low-beta stock and relatively immune to economic shocks. With macroeconomic uncertainties ongoing, the stock is worth holding right now.
On the date of publication, Faisal Humayun did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any 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.