Stocks to buy

Are you looking for dividend stocks to buy with a strong economic moat? 

Especially if you’re looking for dividend stocks to buy, a strong economic moat is important for companies for several reasons.

The first is that it allows them to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, which in turn helps them gain and protect market share.

For example, having a strong and recognizable brand helps it to differentiate it in the minds of consumers, as well as forcing competitors to play catch up through increased sales and marketing expenses.

With these advantages in mind, here are the three wide economic moat dividend stocks to buy.

MMM 3M Corporation $102.76
MSFT Microsoft $289.30
MCD McDonald’s $283.78

3M Corporation (MMM)

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3M Corporation (NYSE:MMM) is one of the most diversified companies in the world with operating segments in five diverse businesses.

Although the brand has been the subject of lawsuits and controversy recently, its wide array of patents and inventions give it an advantage which may be unmatched by its peers.

The sheer number of patents and other intellectual property rights means it has a strong moat, combined with an instantly recognizable brand in various industries. It’s then no wonder why it’s often a top pick for investors looking to park their money into the industrials sector.

The company’s dividend yield is also very solid at 5.84% at the time of writing. This combined, with a healthy payout ratio of 59.11% and a 1.14% annualized dividend growth means it could be a fit for many portfolios.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Source: NYCStock / Shutterstock.com

There are some good reasons to be bullish on Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) right now if one is seeking shelter through a strong economic moat.

The first is its investment into OpenAI, the business responsible for launching ChatGPT. Microsoft’s investment has already started to pay off, as millions of new users have signed up to try out Bing Chat, and possibly challenge Google’s dominance in the search engine space. 

Aside from benefiting from an emerging renaissance for Bing, Microsoft’s moat comes from its integrated ecosystem of connected products such as Windows, Microsoft teams, Skype, Azure and others.

Microsoft is also working to improve the synergy between these products to keep its customers within arms reach, leading to up and cross-selling opportunities.

Another good reason to buy Microsoft is that it’s emerging as a dividend aristocrat, with over 20 years of dividend payment increases. Although its yield is a lackluster 0.94%, it invests heavily into its future growth and has a very sustainable payout ratio of just 30.22%.

McDonald’s (MCD) 

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Studies have put McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) at the top of the list for having the most recognizable brand in the world.

The consistent service its customers receive anywhere in the world and famous golden arches means its competitors need to play catch up to match its strength and brand recognition.

This is especially an advantage when entering into new and emerging markets outside of the United States where other fast food brands are less known.

The market has been feeling very bullish about the brand’s prospects recently, as its shares now command a premium of nearly $290 apiece with a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 33.99. 

Still, McDonald’s is a dividend aristocrat with a whopping 46 years of consistent dividend increases.

Investors might also find safety in knowing that McDonald’s business model works in both good times and bad, meaning that dividend record is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

No McDonald’s CEO wants to be responsible for ending nearly 50 years of consecutive increases.

Its yield is a reasonable at 2.14%, and with a hefty stock price comes with an annual dividend of $6.08.

On the date of publication, Matthew Farley did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Matthew started writing coverage of the financial markets during the crypto boom of 2017 and was also a team member of several fintech startups. He then started writing about Australian and U.S. equities for various publications. His work has appeared in MarketBeat, FXStreet, Cryptoslate, Seeking Alpha, and the New Scientist magazine, among others.

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