The three top dividend-paying stocks in 2014 were Intel, the electronic chip maker; Altria (the parent of tobacco company Phillip Morris) and Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant, notes Wyatt Research. The three companies have a long history of paying dividends.
The top dividend paying companies vary by ranking service, industry sector, or investment guide. Many investment sources rank dividend stocks by their dividend yield, the ratio of cash received per investment dollar.
Intel, Altria and Eli Lilly have a history of paying dividends even during recessions. An investment information service, dependability and preservation of capital were the strongest traits for dividend stocks, reports Investor Place.