Dividend-paying stocks are a great way for investors to protect their portfolios from market fluctuations while also boosting returns. Choosing the right dividend stocks can be challenging, but Wall Street analysts have identified three top picks for investors to consider.

Kimberly-Clark is a consumer products powerhouse known for brands like Huggies and Kleenex. It has a solid track record of raising dividends for over 50 years. The company returned $452 million to shareholders in the first quarter of 2024 and offers a dividend yield of 3.5%. Analysts are bullish on Kimberly-Clark, with RBC Capital upgrading the stock to a buy rating and setting a price target of $165.

Chord Energy, an oil and gas operator in the Williston Basin, is another dividend stock to watch. The company recently completed the acquisition of Enerplus, strengthening its position in the basin. Mizuho analyst William Janela reaffirmed a buy rating on Chord Energy stock with a price target of $214, citing increased synergies and solid shareholder returns.

Cisco Systems, a dividend-paying technology stock, is the third top pick. The company paid $2.9 billion to shareholders in the third quarter of fiscal 2024. Jefferies analyst George Notter reiterated a buy rating on Cisco stock after the company’s investor and analyst day, expressing confidence in its strategy and growth prospects. Cisco expects low-to-mid-single-digit revenue growth in fiscal 2025 and aims for 6-8% EPS growth in fiscal 2026-2027.

Overall, these dividend stocks offer attractive yields and growth potential for investors looking to enhance their portfolios. Wall Street analysts are optimistic about the long-term outlook for these companies, making them worth considering for income-oriented investors. Investing in these top dividend stocks recommended by Wall Street analysts could provide a solid foundation for a diversified portfolio.