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7 A-Rated Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul

Dividend stocks are one of the best ways for long-term investors to play the market.
How so? Because dividend stocks provide investors with the extra benefit of returning profits on a regular basis – usually in the form of a quarterly or…

Dividend stocks are one of the best ways for long-term investors to play the market.

How so? Because dividend stocks provide investors with the extra benefit of returning profits on a regular basis – usually in the form of a quarterly or monthly dividend payment.

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Investors can use dividend stocks as a stream of reliable income in their retirement, or they can reinvest their returns in the stock market to build their positions even faster.

My Dividend Grader tool has identified some A-rated dividend stocks to buy now. Any and all of these names would be solid choices for investors with a long-term horizon.

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ABR
Arbor Realty Trust
$15.74
BGFV
Big 5 Sporting Goods
$13.24
SBLK
Star Bulk Carriers
$26.68
AFL
Aflac
$64.03
MNRL
Brigham Minerals
$29.19
CUBE
CubeSmart
$50.61
ELS
Equity LifeStyle Properties
$76.84

Arbor Realty Trust (ABR)

Source: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com

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Dividend Yield: 10%

With the red-hot real estate market, Arbor Realty Trust (NYSE:ABR) is a promising pick right now. ABR stock is up by more than 20% since mid-June, and shows a 40% gain over the last two years.

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Arbor Realty is based in New York, and handles direct-lending services for multi-family and commercial real estate. Earnings for the second quarter included revenue of $94.26 million, which was better than analysts’ expectations of $82.38 million. Earnings per share came in at 52 cents, better than the 43 cents that the Street was expecting.

ABR also provides a huge dividend yield of 10%, helping boost it to an A rating in the Dividend Grader.

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Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV)

A photo of the exterior of a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Redwood City, California.Source: Michael Vi/ShutterStock.com

Dividend Yield: 7.9%

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California-based Big 5 Sporting Goods (NASDAQ:BGFV) is an under-the-radar retail stock that specializes in sporting goods like athletic apparel, camping gear, shoes and sports accessories. Operating in the western U.S., its name is a callback to the company’s first five stores when it launched.

While the company has a decent enough footprint, with more than 400 stores in 11 states, we can consider it under the radar because it has a market capitalization of less than $300 million.

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The company’s second-quarter earnings report was a mild disappointment, as BGFV reported revenue of $253.8 million, missing analysts’ expectations by nearly $12 million. EPS of 41 cents per share was less than the 46 cents that analysts expected.

“In a challenging retail climate, we achieved earnings that were within our guidance range and higher than in any pre-pandemic second quarter,” CEO Steven Miller said. “Our sales also exceeded any pre-pandemic second quarter, despite being softer than anticipated in the face of macroeconomic headwinds that accelerated over the course of the quarter.”

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While the stock is down 33% so far this year, that action is increasing the BGFV dividend, which currently stands at 8%. On the Dividend Grader, BGFV still merits an A grade.

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Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK)

Container ships now carry about 90 of the world's cargo and the largest container ships can carry over 21,000 units. This one is operated by ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM stock)Source: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com

Dividend Yield: 25%

The supply chain has been a top concern ever since the Covid-19 pandemic. With factories shut down, the flow of goods ground to a halt for a time in 2020. Then as the demand for electronics and home furnishings skyrocketed as people adjusted to working from home, some segments of the supply chain really never caught up.

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That makes companies that transport goods hot commodities, and that brings us to Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK). The company sports a fleet of 128 vessels to transport dry bulk goods around the globe.

SBLK stock is up 18% so far this year and earnings for the second quarter were solid. Revenue came in at $417.33 million, better than analyst expectations. EPS was $2, or 11 cents better than what analysts called for.

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Star Bulk doesn’t pay a consistent dividend, but it is generous. Payouts over the last year fluctuated between 70 cents per share and $2 per share. By paying out $6.60 per share in dividends over the last calendar year, SBLK stock has a dividend yield of nearly 25% right now.

I would never expect those kinds of returns to continue, but Star Bulk is still a solid dividend play in an attractive sector, so its A rating in the Dividend Grader tool is well deserved.

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Aflac (AFL)

the Aflac (AFL) logo on an office buildingSource: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Dividend Yield: 2.5%

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A household name in insurance, Aflac (NYSE:AFL) is an interesting name here because of the role that it plays in the insurance space.

Aflac sells supplemental insurance that allows its customers to pay out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered by their primary insurance policies. As insurance costs and inflation both go up, people may skimp on their traditional insurance policies and try to pick up the slack through Aflac.

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AFL stock has been up and down so far this year, but currently it’s showing a gain of more than 8%. Earnings for the second quarter were a pleasant surprise, coming in at $5.4 billion in revenue and earnings of $1.46 per share – both numbers better than analysts’ expectations of $4.79 billion in revenue and EPS of $1.28.

To top it off, this solid dividend play pays a ratio of 2.5%, giving it an A rating in the Dividend Grader.

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Brigham Minerals (MNRL)

Illustration of oil pump jacks on sunset sky background to represent oil and gas stocksSource: Shutterstock

Dividend Yield: 10.8%

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Texas-based Brigham Minerals (NYSE:MNRL) is a unique way to invest in oil and natural gas production. The company acquires oil and gas mineral rights in North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

In all, the company has interests in more than 8,500 wells, with about 7,900 being oil wells.

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That’s a profitable business, particularly when oil and natural gas prices are high. MNRL stock is up more than 35% so far this year, despite the recent drop in oil. Earnings for Q2 were better than expected, coming in at $90.88 million and EPS of 78 cents per share versus expectations of $81.38 million and EPS of 70 cents.

MNRL stock also pays a dividend of 10.8%, giving it an A rating in the Dividend Grader.

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CubeSmart (CUBE)

In this photo illustration CubeSmart logo of a real estate investment trust (CUBE) is seen on a mobile phone and a computer screen.Source: viewimage / Shutterstock.com

Dividend Yield: 3.4%

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There are plenty of real estate investment trusts out there and they run the gamut of possibilities. CubeSmart (NYSE:CUBE) operates in the self-storage subsector – people rent out CubeSmart facilities to store the stuff in their homes and offices that doesn’t quite fit.

Why is CubeSmart a smart play these days? In any economic downturn – and there’s a solid chance we’re headed toward a recession – people have more of a use for temporary storage. Offices close. Businesses shut down and people downsize their living situations.

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That’s part of the reason why CUBE stock has been a steady gainer since May, and is up 20% over the last three months. Earnings for the second quarter were mixed – revenue of $248.66 million just missed analysts’ estimates of $248.91 million. But EPS of 26 cents was 2 cents better than what the experts called for.

As a REIT, CubeSmart is always going to give you a solid dividend return. Currently the yield is 3.4%, giving CUBE stock an A rating in the Dividend Grader.

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Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS)

Winter RV camping on coast of California. Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) owns numerous RV resorts and campgrounds like this one.Source: Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com

Dividend Yield: 2.1%

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Here’s another niche REIT for you. Equity LifeStyle Properties (NYSE:ELS) caters to people who want to live in someplace other than a house or apartment. Think motor homes, recreational vehicles and boats.

Equity LifeStyle has more than 6,000 slips at 23 marinas in 33 states and Canada. Plus, it has more than 200 RV reports and campsites.

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Earnings for the second quarter were a mixed bag – the company did better than expected in revenue by posting $365.3 million versus analysts’ expectations for $331.28 million. But EPS of 33 cents was less than the 44 cents that the Street wanted to see.

ELS stock is down 12% so far this year, but as a REIT it still provides a yield of better than 2%. Like the other names on this list, ELS stock has an A rating in my Dividend Grader.

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On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in SBLK, MNRL, CUBE. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article. InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

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