NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Dividend stocks are often seen as defensive plays on the market. They rarely fall out of favor for investors, even when stocks are performing well. Now TheStreet's David Peltier is assembling his top dividend picks for 2015. 

His first pick was Tompkins Financial (TMP) . Today, Peltier has added Lockheed Martin (LMT)   to his list of picks. 

LMT Chart
Lockheed Martin LMT data by YCharts

Despite boosting its dividend by 12.75% in September to $6 per share annually, the stock only yields 3.1%. While still higher than the S&P 500's (SPY) yield of 2.1%, Lockheed Martin's dividend is below the company's five-year average yield of 3.7%. 

However, the stock's 32% year-to-date rally has depressed that yield, something most shareholders won't complain about.

Peltier also pointed out that the company has raised its dividend by a double-digit percentage in each of the past 12 years. 

This is reminiscent of Sonoco Products (SON) , another top dividend pick from Peltier. Sonoco has raised its dividend in each of the past 32 years. 

Defense spending has likely bottomed out, Peltier reasoned. This should pave the way for shares of Lockheed Martin to climb above $200 as revenues climb over the next 12 months. 

With a market cap of $62 billion, Lockheed Martin has been an excellent performer for investors, up some 157% over the past five years and up 234% in the past ten years. 

- - Written by Bret Kenwell 

Follow @BretKenwell


TheStreet Ratings team rates LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP (LMT) 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 solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: LMT Ratings Report

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no position in the stocks mentioned.

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