2 High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Buy Now and Hold Forever  

Income-seeking investors must choose stocks carefully. Companies that plan to rapidly grow dividends have low initial yields. Stocks don't give high yields unless investors think the company won't increase earnings and dividends.  

Dividend equities like Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Altria Group (NYSE: MO) stand out. Both have increasing dividends annually for over a decade. They currently pay yields above 6%, and they may raise them in the future.  

Pfizer COVID-19 sales declined quicker than projected, causing Pfizer shares to fall 36% in the past year. A $26.6 billion drop in COVID-19 vaccination sales was reported last year. Antiviral Paxlovid sales plummeted $17.7 billion in 2023.

Pfizer has grown its dividend for 15 years, but the market can't get over last year's big sales slump. At its low price, the pharmaceutical giant offers a 6.3% dividend return. Pfizer should be able to increase its payout in the future. Sales rose 7% last year without COVID-19 items.  

Pfizer estimates $2.05–$2.25 per share earnings this year. This may support an annualized $1.68 per share dividend distribution and increase it further. Pharmaceutical corporations must regularly renew their patent-protected product lineups to increase dividend payouts. Pfizer used its COVID-19 fortune to discover new medications to keep growing. The FDA approved nine new medications from the firm in 2023.  

Recent pricing put Pfizer shares at 12.5 times management's 2024 earnings forecast. For an established corporation expected to expand annual earnings by a mid-single-digit percentage for several years, this is a wonderful pricing. Right now, adding shares to an income-generating portfolio makes sense.  

Altria Group shares, which sell Marlboro cigarettes in the U.S. market, give a high dividend yield of 9.3%. The corporation has hiked payouts 58 times in 54 years. The stock has plummeted 13% in 11 months due to investor concerns over a faster-than-expected decline in combustible cigarette sales.  

While U.S. nicotine consumption isn't declining, people are abandoning combustible cigarettes at an alarming rate. Altria sold 76.3 billion cigarettes in 2023, down 9.9% from 2022. Despite a steeper-than-usual decrease in combustible cigarettes, Altria reported 2.3% adjusted earnings growth to $4.95 per share last year. That's enough to fund its $3.92 annual dividend.  

Altria Group struggles with the illegal market after the FDA prohibited flavored vaporizers in 2020. The tobacco business may be able to solve this with government assistance. The FDA and CBP seized 41 unlawful e-cigarette shipments late last year. It has warned 19 online and 61 brick-and-mortar stores for selling illegal e-cigarettes this year.  

Altria Group's new e-vapor product may attract many customers if the FDA enforces its flavored e-cigarette prohibition further. It bought NJOY, the only FDA-approved pod-based e-cigarette system, last year. Over time, adding shares to a portfolio could generate huge passive income.  

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