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The top Dow dividend stocks Add to ...

Here are profiles of the top five dividend-paying stocks on the Dow at present.

5 - Kraft

Market Cap: $43 billion

Dividend: $0.29

Yield: 3.9 per cent

After consistently raising dividends every year since it went public in 2001, Kraft Foods hit the brakes in 2009 by freezing its dividend. However, there may be a boost in the works sometime soon to the company's already hefty 3.9 per cent yield.

The world's second-largest food company reported strong fourth-quarter profits in February that were quadruple the numbers from last year thanks to a successful three-year restructuring of its business. The company's recent acquisition of British snack-maker Cadbury should also keep KFT firmly in the black with plenty of profits to share.

4 - Merck

Market Cap: $78 billion

Dividend: $1.52

Yield: 4.1 per cent

Merck is one of the biggest names in Big Pharma, with blockbuster drugs that include the heart disease treatment Zocor, asthma and allergy drug Singulair and osteoporosis medication Fosamax. But while these treatments are relatively new discoveries, Merck is an old company with a long history of dividend payouts -- more than five decades to be exact. After buying out competitor Schering-Plough in mid-2009, MRK has tapped into a greater range of products and research that should renew the company's momentum. With a 4.1 per cent dividend yield, investors have a healthy incentive to go along for the ride.

3 - DuPont

Market Cap: $30 billion

Dividend: $0.41

Yield: 4.8 per cent

In January, DuPont declared a first-quarter dividend of 41 cents per share, payable in March to stockholders of record as of Feb. 13. It marked the 418th consecutive quarterly dividend since the company's first dividend in the fourth quarter of 1904. While many things on Wall Street are uncertain, DD's dividend is all but a sure thing.

2 - Verizon

Market Cap: $81 billion

Dividend: $0.48

Yield: 6.6 per cent

In September 2009, Verizon's board approved a quarterly dividend increase of 3.3 per cent as a sign that the company was getting back on track. This marked the third consecutive year of a Verizon quarterly dividend increase. As the company hangs its hopes on the Google(GOOG Quote) Android operating system as it looks to compete with the iPhone, shareholders can take comfort in VZ's hefty yield of almost 7 per cent even if things remain challenging for this telecom stock.

1 - AT&T

Market Cap: $147 billion

Dividend: $1.68

Yield: 6.7 per cent

From the end of 1999 up until December 2009, this dividend growth stock has delivered a negative annual average total return of about 11 per cent to its shareholders. Ouch! But on the plus side, AT&T remains one of the biggest dividend providers in the Dow. While many traders will scoff at a "lost decade" in the stock market, a regular payout of $1.68 per share as of this writing (and a track record of slow and steady dividend growth) is certainly nothing to scoff at.

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