Investors and their advisors love owning stocks that consistently dole out ever-increasing dividends to shareholders. Not surprisingly, most of the world’s largest companies are also the ones who pay out the largest quarterly and annual dividends.

Dividend-paying stocks historically outperform those that don’t, protect investors' accounts from inflation and provide a tremendous incentive to stay invested in blue-chip stocks rather trading in and out of them and racking up fees.

Here’s an interactive slide show highlighting the 10 stocks expected to deliver the highest dividend payouts in 2012.

*Indicated Annual Dividends (IAD) is a forward-looking measure defined as a company’s most recently paid quarterly dividend multiplied by four.

Source: Dow Jones Indexes