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While the high-flying growth picks and the flashy tech stocks are hogging the headlines in the current bull market, plenty of investors are still set on finding high quality dividend stocks. In fact, dividend investing continues to be, as it always has been, a legitimate strategy by its very nature.

Indeed, companies that pay strong dividends tend to be less volatile and are—almost by definition—more financially stable. On top of this, despite the fact that interest rates have risen recently, we’re still in a relatively low interest rate environment, which makes dividend stocks a solid choice for investors looking for steady income.

Dividend investing has also proven to be one of the most dependable long-term investing strategies, as payouts can be easily reinvested to help add to future gains. With this said, targeting dividend stocks with strong Zacks Ranks is a great way to increase the chances of market-beating, one-to-three month performance, while also ensuring that you have a steady stream of cash heading to your portfolio.

Check out these five Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) dividend stocks to consider now:

1.       Vermilion Energy (VET - Free Report)

Vermilion Energy is an international oil and gas producer with properties in Western Canada, Australia, France and the Netherlands. The company currently pays out a 5.50% dividend. On top of this, the stock’s beta rating is just 0.52, so it’s hypothetically significantly less volatile than the market average. Still, it’s an interesting growth pick too. In fact, our current consensus estimates are calling for EPS growth of 173% and revenue growth of 32% this fiscal year.

 

2.       Saratoga Investment Corp. (SAR - Free Report)

Saratoga Investment is a specialty finance company that invests primarily in leveraged loans and mezzanine debt issued by U.S. middle-market companies. Currently, SAR offers a 9.05% dividend. In addition, the company’s P/E ratio of just 9.87 and P/B ratio of 0.97 could be appealing to value investors. Furthermore, Saratoga is expected to report earnings growth of nearly 27% this fiscal year. Also, over the past year, SAR has gained a steady 14%.

 

3.       Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Free Report)

Specialty mall retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has not been immune from its sector’s recent glut, but the stock is an improved position after an estimate beat and strong post-earnings momentum. The company also pays a strong 5.62% dividend and, despite retail’s overall volatility, sports a beta rating of just 0.78. On top of this, ANF is also sporting impressive Style Scores, including an “A” for Growth and a “B” for Momentum, as well as an overall VGM score of “A.”

 

4.       Persimmon plc (PSMMY - Free Report)

Persimmon is a U.K.-based homebuilder, operating primarily under the Persimmon Homes brand, which specializes in studio apartments and family homes. The company currently pays out a 5.09% dividend. In addition to its solid dividend, the company’s Forward P/E is just 10.35 and its cash flow growth currently sits at 6%. The stock also has an “A” grade for Momentum, and over the past five years, shares have climbed by a noteworthy 90%.

 

5.       Triton International (TRTN - Free Report)

Triton International acquisition, leasing, re-leasing, and sale of intermodal containers. As of right now, Triton offers a 5.62% dividend. In addition, the stock is sporting an “A” grade for Value, which is underscored by its P/E ratio of 12.13 and P/B ratio of 1.29. Furthermore, Triton boasts cash flow of $6.68 per share, which is 20 cents better than the industry average. With a beta rating of 2.66 and shares up over 150% over the past year, TRTN is far from the steady, risk-free investment most income investors are targeting, but its dividend payout is solid nonetheless.

 

Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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