NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Most investors don't shy away from dividends. In fact, many seek out companies specifically for their dividends. With that in mind, TheStreet's David Peltier dug through his lists and announced his top dividend picks for 2015.
On Friday, Peltier chose New York's regional bank Tompkins Financial (TMP) - Get Tompkins Financial Corporation Report as his first dividend stock to own for the new year. On Monday, he picked Sonoco Products (SON) - Get Sonoco Products Company Report as his next call. Shares of the packaging products company are up 6% on the year.
Sonoco pays an annual dividend of $1.28 per share, giving it a yield of 2.9%. After calling the dividend yield "very attractive," Peltier pointed out that Sonoco just raised its dividend in October and will likely raise it again in 2015.
Why the certainty about boosting the dividend next year? It's not too hard to believe since the company has raised its dividend in each of the previous 32 years. That's through recessions, market crashes and the financial crisis in 2008.
Peltier also pointed out that the company raised its selling prices last year for customers. This should drive operating margins higher, as the company will benefit from lower energy prices in 2015 as well.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell
TheStreet Ratings team rates SONOCO PRODUCTS CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate SONOCO PRODUCTS CO (SON) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: SON Ratings Report