25 Dividend Stocks the Analysts Love Most for 2021

Income investors looking for more than just a little yield: These are the top dividend stocks for 2021, according to the pros.

Concept art of 2021 in sequins
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One thing is clear when looking at the analysts' best dividend stocks right now: Wall Street expects big things from the beaten-down energy sector in 2021.

The pros are betting that the post-pandemic landscape will feature an increase in energy needs and perhaps a recovery in commodity prices, among other factors. And with the oil and gas industry expected to bounce back in the year ahead, the Street's most highly rated dividend stocks for 2021 include energy stocks of all stripes: oil and gas drillers, pipeline companies, oilfield services, and other sector names.

Although energy-sector names are over-represented on our list of analysts' favorite dividend payers, banks, pharmaceuticals and consumer staples also make appearances.

To find analysts' most beloved dividend stocks, we scoured the S&P 500 for dividend stocks with yields of at least 3%, excluding a number of extremely high yielders because of excessive risk. (Sometimes, a too-high yield can be a warning sign that a stock is in deep trouble.)

From that pool, we focused on stocks with an average broker recommendation of Buy or better. S&P Global Market Intelligence surveys analysts' stock ratings and scores them on a five-point scale, where 1.0 equals Strong Buy and 5.0 means Strong Sell. Any score of 2.5 or lower means that analysts, on average, rate the stock a Buy. The closer the score gets to 1.0, the stronger the Buy call.

Lastly, we dug into research, fundamental factors and analysts' estimates on the top-scoring names.

That led us to these top 25 dividend stocks for 2021, by virtue of their high analyst ratings and bullish outlooks. Read on as we analyze what makes each one stand out.

Stock prices, dividend yields, analyst ratings and other data are as of Dec. 17, courtesy of S&P Global Market Intelligence, unless otherwise noted. Companies are listed by strength of analysts' average rating, from lowest to highest. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.


A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.


Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.


In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics and more.


Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.


Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.